A positive sense of daily accomplishment is similar to a road race—compete against yourself only, and move forward simply by putting one foot in front of the other.
Posted in , Nov 3, 2017
“Want to run a road race with us?” My answer to my friends’ question was absolutely yes—the race was as short as they come, at just 2.5 miles, it had a fun costume theme, and the friends who were asking are two positive, lovely women I was excited to get to know better.
There was only one problem—I am not “a runner.” I try to keep fit, and I do run (well, jog) as part of my fitness routine. But even 2.5 miles seemed long to me, and as the date got closer, my nervousness got higher.
I’m so glad I said “yes” to the invitation, though. After the race, as I walked back to the car with a sweaty, triumphant smile on my face, I reflected on four life lessons I took from the experience:
1. Run Your Own Race
I wasn’t there to win or place, nor was I there to achieve someone else’s definition of success—I was there to start and finish the race in whatever way worked for me.
2. We Are Better Together
Having my two partners with me was motivating, uplifting and just plain fun. Dressed in coordinating Alvin and the Chipmunks costumes, we were a team. And when the sweat started flowing, what mattered was that we were in it together.
3. It’s OK to Walk Sometimes
If we don’t give ourselves permission to slow down and catch our breath in life, we’ll never reconnect with the power and energy we still have to give. Thirty seconds of walking during the race was a clear reminder of that lesson—and that whether we’re running or walking, we’re still moving forward, one step at a time.
4. Finish Strong
The surge of emotion and excitement at seeing the finish line gave my teammates and me a much-needed boost, and we took off in a powerful sprint. Since that day, I’ve remembered the sense of accomplishment I felt in that moment, and I’ve endeavored to connect with it at finish lines throughout daily schedule.
How do you see running as a metaphor?
In 2001, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I wasn’t a good candidate for chemo. I took tamoxifen instead and gave my trouble to God—just as Dr. Peale suggested in his book, "Thought Conditioners". Since then I’ve remained cancer free. -Guideposts Magazine reader