We’re almost there. The day that we have been waiting for all summer long is a mere three days away. All the days spent counting calories. All the hours spent trying to find interesting ways to walk miles and miles in and around Greenville. It all comes down to Sunday when the Bacon Lovers will come together to walk 13.1 miles at the Rock ‘n’ Roll St. Louis Half Marathon.

We’re ready. For lots of reasons. Not the least of which is we are tired of trying to find two to three hours every weekend to get our long training walks in. But we are also physically ready. Those team members who doubted (and even whined a little) when Crystal and I proposed walking a half marathon have found that not only will it not kill them, they can actually walk that far at a pretty quick pace. We are looking forward to the fun of race day – bands playing along the route, how awesome we will all look as we walk down the street together in our Bacon Lovers (anonymous) t-shirts, crossing the finish line together and getting our medals, and of course the naps we will all take after the race since we will be getting up at PBC (pre-butt crack of dawn for those of you who may not know) to get down to the race on time.

While this will be my seventh half marathon, it will be the first one I have walked and my first Rock ‘n’ Roll series, so I am excited to see how the race plays out, and am hopeful that by walking, maybe I won’t be quite as shot after the race as I am when I run. I am also excited to be doing it with seven other women with whom I love spending time. (If you are doing the race on Sunday, I apologize in advance if we get to laughing obnoxiously, or get a little over the top with snarky comments to one another.)

But I think one of my favorite things is this: many of us are already looking past the race at what is next. There is talk between Crystal and I of doing a full marathon this spring. There is talk from some other members of doing the marathon relay at the same race as Crystal and I. We are all talking about how we want to change our exercise schedule after the race (as opposed to completely stopping). And to me, that speaks volumes about how important it has been and continues to be to have people to do life, weight loss, and exercise with. We spur one another on. We encourage one another. We challenge one another. And not just in exercise and weight loss. The conversations about various life issues that we have had on these walks, the advice given, the prayers given and received, all of these have been and continue to be invaluable to our success, not just in weight loss and exercise, but in life.

The older I get, the more I realize how important it is to surround myself with people I love and who love me back; people who can speak truth into my life and vice versa; people who love me no matter what, but are willing to say (and hear) the hard stuff; people who can laugh with me at the funny stuff and cry with my at the sad stuff. For me, these people include the BL(a)’s, my small group, my co-workers, my family, and some other great friends that I am blessed to have. And while it is hard work and time-consuming to maintain all those friendships, it is worth it 100 times over.

Pray for us as we race this weekend, and as we continue on in our journeys. And make sure you have people around you that you are doing life with. You won’t be sorry.

Who are you are doing life with right now?