I wonder what business I have writing about “Life Lesson”? Let’s start with who I am. Like you I am many things to many people. I am a single parent, a runner, a finance director, and a lover of what probably amounts to too many things.
In one week I am running a race that in essence encapsulated me. I have been thinking a lot about this particular run, almost obsessively, and I am finally processing the significance of this event. In the last year I have entered and run 19 races to date. They span the gambit – I have run a hilarious costumed and muddy 5k obstacle challenge, a slew of cause worthy 5k to 10 mile races, a 10th Anniversary Half Marathon, the campy but fun Disney Marathon as well as a nationally recognized 50k trail race. Now, in just 7 days time, I will line up with a few hundred runners to begin the Hopewell Reach Out & Run 5K around the campus of a local college. So you might wonder why a seemingly nondescript event has captured so much of my focus.
I have met countless runners through this odyssey. They are of all ages and capacities. Some are tall and lithe, while others are stout and lumbering. They represent nearly every grouping of people that I imagine exists. Uniquely they all seem to share this common ethos – a determined joie de vivre. I am perpetually enamored by the extraordinary camaraderie that permeates this welcoming group. Like the excitement that is nearly palpable in the air before each race the esprit of friendship in this fellowship equally remarkable. Guidance, kindness and support dominate the culture of this sanguine community. I say “seem” because candidly I am a neophyte. I feel extremely privileged to have joined this community less then one year ago.
Hopewell Reach Out & Run 5K will be my first reprise. In what seems to be a growing monochrome landscape of races this event stands out for me as testament of accomplishment, enlightenment and humanity. It embodies one year of hard work and commitment which began as what felt like a Herculean push but has become a cathartic pleasure. It glows with the warmth and enlightenment of a community of quality friends who as a divorced single parent has come to offer immeasurable encouragement and value. Finally there is the humble humanity I feel in supporting the efforts against cancer the illness but more so in carrying the fire as I lend a hand by raising money for the fighters and survivors of such a destructive force that has plagued family and friends.
This is what Hopewell and running mean to me. What does your next run mean to you?