Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Running A Good Race

Pics my mother snapped at Listen to Your Mother-Indianapolis show.  So honored by the family and friends who came to watch me speak.  I wish my mom had captured all of the beautiful faces!  What an amazing experience! 

Cooper's teacher shared a story with me.

She asked Cooper how his mother did at the Boston Marathon.  Evidently, his expression turned gloomy as he lamented, "Well, she didn't win!"

According to his teacher, Cooper couldn't fathom why his mother would enter a race she had no good chance of winning.

We both laughed at his response. 

Cooper didn't understand runners enter the Boston Marathon for the epic experience.  The fact that I was one of the 35,999 "losers" meant little to me.  Upon crossing the finish line, I felt a sense of accomplishment and gratitude that (I'm sure) rivaled the winner's elation.

I pondered Cooper's remarks.  Why did he think runners only enter a race to emerge as a champion?  We certainly have encouraged him to try his best, shoot for the moon, and work hard.  But have we put the idea in his sweet little head that races are only entered to be won?

At Cooper's age and many years after, I held a similar belief.  A good race was the one where I emerged clutching a blue ribbon, a plastic trophy, or a metallic medal.  A good race was one where I clinched a new record, a personal best.  A good race was one where there were clear cut winners and losers, and I was on the side of the victorious.

But at 40, my idea of a good race is starting to change.  

A good race is one where I try my best and have little gas in the tank as I near the finish line.

A good race is one where I cheer on fellow runners, especially those struggling or clearly facing adversity.

A good race is one where other runners spur me along (but don't pepper me with conversation!).

A good race is one that cuts through beautiful scenery and interesting landscapes.

A good race is one where my body responds well to weeks of training.

A good race is one where the self-talk is peppy and confident.

A good race is one where the race photos look more like glamour shots (a girl can dream, right!).

A good race is one that is shared with friends.

A good race is one where the finish time doesn't factor into the joy of the experience.

One day I hope Cooper can see a race in the same way.

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