My Favorite Water Stop


Last week, I ran the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon for the second time.  I have a heart for that particular race since I am originally from Oklahoma City, so when the time came for the 10th Anniversary running of the marathon, little thought was required in my decision.  It was a beautiful day for a run and all the training and agony of the past few months paid off.  And yes, I ran a personal best and met my goal.  But that’s not what I want to talk to you about.

You see, everyone has a point in the marathon when they struggle.  For some it’s mental, for some it’s emotional, and for some it’s physical.  It goes by many names and comes at various times, but everyone finds it at some point.  For me, that “wall” comes at mile 21.  I begin to get warm, I’m tired, and I’m just not convinced that running 26.2 miles is what I want to do right then and there.  But something happens.

I love Devon energy.  I do.  You see, they have a water stop at mile 21.  At the end of the water stop a group of volunteers holds buckets of ice cold water.  In that bucket of ice cold water are these little sponges, we call them, well, the “Devon sponges.”  And like a ray of heaven coming down from above, a sweet little volunteer kindly looks at you and tells you you’re doing a great job and hands you a sponge. 

I proposed to the volunteer this year.  Actually, I proposed to all of the volunteers holding out those sponges.

You see, in every journey, every struggle, every fight, there is usually someone or something we grab onto, either physically or emotionally, that supports us in our cause.  During my marathon experiences in Oklahoma City, it’s always those wonderful sponge-bearers.  Don’t get me wrong, all of the volunteers are very much appreciated, but that one person is holding exactly what I need at that moment to achieve greatness.

In your quest for a healthy, active lifestyle, find your sponge-bearer.  Seek out individuals or groups that will give you the right support you need right when you need it to help you along the way.  It may be a website, a newsgroup, a blogger, a coach, a friend, a spouse, a trainer, or even a stranger at the gym.  But make sure that as you travel on this journey that you have in place the support and encouragement you need to help you achieve your goals. 


And when you’ve found that person or group, make sure you let them know how much you appreciate them.  You don’t necessarily have to propose to a random volunteer holding a bucket, but encourage them in return.  You might just find that when you need them again, they’re right there where you need them the most.


~ by Shawna on April 30, 2010.

3 Responses to “My Favorite Water Stop”

  1. way to go, shawna!!! the devon people ARE wonderful . . . all the
    way to the very tip-top.

    you are such an inspiration to us all!!

  2. I loved the Devon water stop too! When I ran by, they were boogie-ing down to music as they were handing out sponges and water!

  3. wonderful post, shawna!!! you put it perfectly.

    jan in mississippi

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