I honestly thought I had a pretty solid pace going. But I was soon passed by a group on younger men, probably from the local HighSchool. They were wearing new shoes and no shirts. I picked up the pace a bit when they passed, almost by instinct… but found myself gasping for air and once again returned to my more regular pace. 

Not ten minutes passed before I heard them coming again… and not only did they pass me, one of them had the audacity to wave a friendly hand and say “Good work!” as be blazed past me. 

Good work?! 
Why I oughta teach that kid a lesson 
if only I could catch him
Which I couldn’t 
Because of how fast he was.
He was very fast. 

The other thought running though my mind was something along the lines of “there goes a team of real runners.” 

And I do that to myself far too often.
There’s a real pastor, leading a real church. 
There’s a real author. 
There’s a real artist. 
There’s a real dad.

Sure, there will always be someone doing what I’m doing but doing it better. But that doesn’t make me less real. What makes me “real” is that I’m doing the work. 

The only “fakes” are folks who dress the part, talk the part, but don’t put any of the work in. 

Doing the work makes you “real.” Which means it’s a matter of choice; one you get to make. Nobody else gets to say whether or not you’re authentic or “the real deal.” You do.