Robert Blevins was my friend. Robert got me started running back in 1995. When I met Robert, he was a marathoner for the US Army marathon team. I was a fat preacher, 60 lbs. overweight, and so out of shape I couldn’t run a block.

Robert encouraged me to start running. He explained the “how to’s” of running to me. Six months later and 40 lbs. less, I ran my first road race. It was a 10k that I’ll never forget. After asking Robert about a million race questions, Robert wished me luck, and I drove to Amarillo by myself to run my first race.

I remember being so nervous in that first race that I was sick to my stomach. About the time I was thinking, “I can’t do this,” I rounded the corner of my first mile and looked up. There was Robert standing there with his camera, taking pictures of me. As I ran by, he encouraged me with “Keep it up. You’re doing great!” At every mile marker, Robert would drive ahead and be waiting to take pictures and encourage me. Thanks to Robert, I completed my goal on my first race of not stopping or walking even once. The next morning at church Robert presented me with a photo album of all my running pictures.

That was Robert. My friend and always the encourager at the mile-markers of my life. I did Robert’s funeral on December 11, 2005. It was a sad day in my life. I miss him and think of him often when I run. My goal is to be a Robert in the lives of others and to encourage them with “Keep it up. You’re doing great!”

Thank you Robert for giving me the gift of running.

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Article by Trey Morgan

I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast. Read 1182 articles by
17 Comments Post a Comment
  1. dgossett says:

    I really want to be an encourager….but I will leave the running to you.

  2. Zach Detwiler says:

    Trey, bro… and that is why I truly enjoy running with you!! Your encouragement goes along way..


  3. roadtripray says:

    Your blog is an effective encourager. I probably speak for many others when I say that your blog is a real blessing.


  4. kim says:

    wow i didn’t know that you got started because of robert. it is amazing the impact that one person can have. you can be sure that you have had one on me!!

    btw, thanks for your blog yesterday. my sweet hubby read it and faithfully followed your good advice. it was especially significant with the day that i was having yesterday. without your encouragement, yesterday and our date night may have been a disaster. so thanks.

  5. Brooke says:

    I never knew Robert was who got you started running. He had some amazing qualities and was a father figure to many of my dearest friends. He left us all way too early and is dearly missed. I know Tiffany ran her first marathon or half-marathon after her father passed away all to honor him.

  6. cwinwc says:

    Wow – Thank you for sharing “your” Robert with us. I read with interest since I recently (55 pounds) lost some weight and began “increasing” my running “up” to 3.2 miles.

    I’ve never ran a race but you and Robert have given me encouragement to perhaps try.

    Even more, you and Robert have given me encouragement for the race we call life.

  7. Liss and MOMMY says:

    I remember a run we did at midnight in Amarillo at the mall. Some crazy man talked me into it, we had to smell Cattle Call the whole time. …I got to start running again.

  8. TREY MORGAN says:

    Donna – Glad to see you. How about taking a dive for me in the fantasy world this weekend. I can use all the help I can get. :)

    Zach – I love our runs too, but the prayer time after the run is the best!

    Ray – Thanks

    Kim – It was cool being around you at the “impressionable” stage of your life. I’m glad I got to be a part of it. And, I’m glad date night went well.

    Brooke – Tiff did run her marathon and she did great. Had it not been 1500 miles away I would have come and encouraged her at every mile marker. I know her dad was there watching.

    cwinwc – Great job on the running. You’d love running a road race. For the most part you run against yourself. And in the words of Robert, let me say, “You’re doing great. Keep it up!”

    Melissa – I fell over laughing when I read that. I forgot all about our midnight run at the mall. And I remember everytime I smelled the b-b-que, thinking, “I’m going to be sick!” That was so fun. What you say we do it again?

  9. Amy says:

    Trey, this was a great post!! Jason has a bud that has helped him along his running journey, too. You give the best encouragement!!

    P.S. I LOVED the twitter update about talking Lea into a pair of shoes instead of a trip to Boston…seriously made me laugh!! Good luck with that one!

  10. Keesha says:

    My sister Tiffany called me today and said, you have got to read Trey’s Blog….Thank you for being such a dear friend to my dad. He encouraged many. I ran my first marathon this year in honor of my dad. WOW, what an experience. Now I know why he loved it so much. And now a few of my friends and I have decided to run in a Half marathon in November. It is amazing how one can inspire another.

    Thank you dad for being my inspiration!

    And thank you Trey, for your words!

  11. Wade says:

    Cool story – cool friend.

  12. a cowgirl at heart says:

    Ironic…I read this post this morning, and then a few minutes later, left to go to the high school and to run myself at the gym, and THERE YOU WERE! Running down Ave. I. I almost stopped, rolled down my window and said, “Come on Trey, you can do it,” but you looked VERY focused, so I decided against it! I decided a wave would suffice!

  13. Matthew says:

    I am proud of you for the life change.

  14. Chris says:

    Trey, even though I am no longer a preacher I am still FAT, or over weight as you so kindly put it. Please share the “how to’s” of running that Robert shared with you so that I too can enjoy this gift.

    Keep up the great work. To answer your question, yes, I am okay. Thanks for asking.

  15. Anonymous says:

    I read your blog daily and it was a wonderful suprise to read the story about Robert. What is so ironic is if our lifes would have taken a different road we would have been celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary today. Thank you for being the inspiration and friend you have always been to not only Robert but also to me and all four of our kids. You have touched our lifes in so many ways. Thank you for being with Robert during his last few days and for always being his friend and never judging him. Robert always had that smile of satisfication when he ran or rode a bike and I see the same smile across my kids face when they are running. He even inspired me to start doing some short distance running about 4 years ago, and I love it. I know Robert was right beside Tiffany and Keesha when they were running there marathons saying, Keep it up your doing great! Its funny how living in that moment you never think you can or would do something and years later you find yourself doing the very thing you thought you would never do like running. Thank you Robert for inspiring us to run and thank you Trey for teaching us daily that their is an awesome God!

  16. One Observationist says:

    Great story Trey. Thanks for sharing it. It is great that you are passing on the traits taught to you by Robert. Even though I’ve heard and experienced stories like this many times I am still amazed at the poignancy of them. It is neat to see the enormous impact that people who have gone on can still have in our world.


  17. TREY MORGAN says:

    Amy – I’m glad Jason has someone to encourage him in his life. Isn’t it much easier accomplishing the things we need to do when someone is behind us encouraging us on? I know you do that for Jason.

    Keesha – I love you Blevins’ kids. You guys are like “my other children” to me. I’m proud of who you are and what you’ve become. Your dad would be SO proud of you.

    Cowgirl – It was SO hot. Next time through water at me :)

    Matthew – Thanks

    Chris – I’m glad you’re doing well. I’ve missed your comments and your blog. When you get time check out my running blog. It’s just a baby blog with about two readers is all. But I try and put some running stuff on it a couple of times a week. It keeps me going.

    Quita – You made my day. I know I was grinning from ear to ear while I read your comment. Thanks for taking time to leave me a note. I miss you guys!

About Me

Trey Morgan Here are my thoughts about marriage, family, raising children, humor, faith and the life God intended for us all. I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast.

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Husband, father and cancer survivor & Senior Minister for the Childress Church of Christ. Tweets about life, marriage, Texas Rangers and randomness.
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