Well good morning you two, and how are you doing this fine day?
The sun is shining, reflecting off the lake, but I find this confusing as the sky is overcast. Apparently somewhere on the other side of the house the sun is poking through just a bit, even though I cannot see it. Another metaphor for life. And this morning I am thinking especially of my dear friend Becky who has diligently put in all the miles training for her 2nd half-Ironman, which is being held this morning in the Gulf Coast. Well, two-thirds of the race are being held anyway; the swim has been cancelled.
I saw her face when they announced it and my heart fell for her. Later the crank fell off her bike. All of that, the hours and hours of training, struggling through hard workouts, planning, worrying, dreaming. Done, gone.
Fill in the metaphor: ___________________________________________________
I know she’s devastated. I combined some $%&* and some tears when she told me. You know how it is, for a minute you think, really? You’re kidding, right? But, no, she’s done, it’s over for today. We all know how this feels. You’ve worked so hard, you’ve followed your plan, you do everything the boss says, or the trainer says, you follow the rules and all of a sudden you run into a wall. You break your foot, or your bike fails, or your boss reviews your input and says no. Boston gets bombed out. NYC gets stormed out.
Personally, when stuff like that happens to me and I get this type of input: “life goes on” “make lemonade” – it just makes me mad. I believe we need a little space to be upset. It DOES suck. It does hurt, it’s incredibly disappointing. Oh well, la-la-la, get over it, look over here, a rainbow! Oh yeah? Guess where your rainbow can go. I’ll be fine in a bit, just back off.
Last week I had the great opportunity to attend the RRCA (Road Runners Club of America) Annual Convention in Spokane, Washington. This may surprise you, but there is not an overwhelming plethora of running club secretaries in the Memphis area. I know, right? I am a company of one. So it was a lot of fun to talk shop with other attendees, and I’ve carried home a notebook full of ideas.
This is the fourth convention I’ve attended and I believe the best so far (possibly inching ahead of our hosting in 2012, don’t tell anyone). I met Bernard Lagat!
I wasn’t going to ask for a photo – but others did, so I jumped into the fold.
No pride, no regrets.
He spoke at lunch of the sacrifices his family made for one another, the opportunities he was fortunate enough to be given. A very engaging speaker, he talked openly and honestly about success and failure, accepting and moving forward. He laughed along with all of the attendees when he described what coming in fourth in the Olympics felt like. Fifth place, you pretty much know it’s not going to be your day. Third, *sigh* I made the podium! Second, *yay* I’m not first but I’m not third!
Don Kardong addressed this also when he spoke on Saturday. This must have been an especially bitter pill when the first place finisher was later stripped of his medal for doping, but just like Mr. Lagat, he was charming, humble, and funny. He joked that after the doping issue the first place medal was divided into thirds and this was his portion:
That evening Deena Kastor spoke. She was the 1997 RRCA Roads Scholar recipient, living in Colorado working as a waitress, training, then working all day on her feet, training again at night. The scholarship allowed her to quit work for a year and focus on her training. We all know how well that turned out!
All three were humble, grateful people, appreciative of the help they’ve received and the chances they’ve been given. They are among the best in the world but they would not have been there speaking to us without dedication and hard work. They fell, they struggled, they stood back up. They grabbed the opportunities they were given and remain grateful for all of it.
I will never be an elite runner. I have, however, realized through these speakers that I can continue to strive to be an elite person, even if I do slip a bit, falling back and struggling when the sh*t shows up.
ADDENDUM: After the DNF Becky cried a bit, then put on her shoes and ran out to the course to cheer on her friends and teammates. I’m proud to call her friend and hero.