Tis The Season to Pause
With the holiday season upon us, perhaps it’s a good time to reflect on the many blessings that running provides us. I’m just as guilty as the next person when it comes to taking things for granted. Runners tend to take their skills for granted until injury or illness throws us into chaos.
It has been said that it is better to give than receive. So allow me to give you some ideas for you to consider this holiday season regarding running. First off, be grateful for your health. Many of us run so that we have a better, quality life. However, some of us runners tend to go to extremes in our training and racing that can put our good health at risk. If you become sick or injured, stop running. Your body is telling you it needs rest. Take heed!
Be thankful of your running abilities. For some folks, running comes natural while for most it is a chore. I’m always disappointed when I see or hear of a runner with God-Given talent who squanders it. It comes easy to them, but to get better they do not put forth the effort to fully utilize their gift. For those lacking the abilities, continue to do your best and your hard work will pay off.
Be grateful of the friendships you have made through running. I’m guilty of running too much by myself and miss out on the camaraderie that running provides. Some of my fondest running experiences have been in a team setting. The closest many of us post-college runners can experience these days is running on a relay team that competes in an event like the Hood-to-Coast Relay. I highly recommend this kind of event to anyone who has never experienced running on a team.
Also be thankful for the family and friends that support your running. In my younger days, it was my mother’s gentle reminder, “Shouldn’t you be out running?” that got me out the door. In my later years, it was the tireless support of my wife who has accompanied me to countless road races. Not being the athletic type, she would wait patiently for me to finish while holding on to the car keys. It’s one thing to bring your family and friends to cheer you on if you’re winning races or placing for an age group award, but if you’re a back of the pack finisher you should be extra thankful for your race supporters.
Be appreciative of the weather we run in. We’re fortunate to have all four seasons in Georgia with relative mild winters. There’s nothing like running on a fresh spring day or a crisp fall morning. Even the occasional snowstorm is a treat, too. Each season has its own unique smells that enhance the running experience.
These are just a few of the things you can be thankful for your ability to run. Non-runners have a hard time understanding how anyone gains enjoyment from running. Be thankful you do and reflect on your good fortunes as we close out another running season. Cheers!