Well this was a first…
I was late to the start line! Some may argue they are late to the finish line but mine was a bit of both on the day of the Hatley Castle 8K at Royal Roads University. Having said that, this is not what my message is about. My message is about making choices in life and remembering to make them based on your “whys.”
Yes, I arrived late to the start line and at that moment I had a choice: run, walk, or turnaround and go home.
I knew when I arrived the timing would be tight. I realized quickly as I meandered through an unfamiliar campus, that the likelihood of me arriving on time was gone. It was confirmed when I showed up at 11:06 am to a very lonely start line that I was definitely late. I crossed with no noise made so then I made the choice to run to the timing van to see if it was “okay” to still run. I was answered with a quick, “if you crossed the line, you are being timed.”
I had a choice…
My decision took no time at all — run Mena run! That’s what I signed up to do, that’s why I drove out there, that’s why I signed up for the Vancouver Island Race Series and that’s why I pinned on my bib! I had made a choice to be a part of something. Does it really matter what your numerical time is (okay — I am a runner at heart so I will say I do love numbers) BUT — what’s really important is the time that you experience and I was about to enjoy a very special time throughout this event; one that was unexpected. It was an experience like no other and full of awesome realizations. I didn’t see anyone for about 500 metres except a photographer that really had no choice but to shoot my smirk of desperation to find a crowd of people somewhere in the distance. Then I came across a powerful walker who quickly informed me that they had come out to walk no matter what position they finished in. Their smile was full of pride and confidence — this was cool.
Then I passed a couple of familiar faces on the out and back, but typically I would be on the “other side” of them, they were thrilled to see that I had showed up. Despite where I was, and what joking was shared, they made me feel a part. I witnessed people of all ages, stages, and abilities push up hills and push through pain. It was clearly demonstrated that there wasn’t a single person I passed that was not working their hardest. Each of these walkers and runners had made the choice to show up and do the best that they can.
Every finish line is special and in this case on this day, I cannot imagine missing the opportunity to run downhill through a beautiful forested area to the sound of cheers and encouragement.
So as we near a new and exciting course — the McLean Mill 10K — think about why you “show up.” Make choices based on your whys. Don’t worry about your time in performance but the potential of the experience. I want to be a part of a community, a part of the run community, a part of the Vancouver Island Race Series. I want to feel strong, athletic and physically fit. I want to feel that sense of accomplishment when I cross the finish line.
Thank you to the crew of the Island Race Series for providing me a space to make choices to participate and to feel like an athlete. I have a feeling my “whys” are similar to most that show up in shorts, spandex run tights, tank tops and run hats on chilly Sunday mornings
…. I hope to see you again on Sunday, April 2nd!