Monday, December 27, 2010

...but she was on her way.

Christmas night, long after friends had gone home, dishes were put away and the kids were tucked into bed, I decided to open my Christmas gifts alone. Certainly I opened gifts from the kids earlier in the day – as they were anxious to see my reaction. Caroline couldn’t wait – she gave me a toy puppy that does back flips and barks. Yes, she insists it was for me! Ryan really couldn’t care less about my reaction – since he was buried in his new iPod Touch. His gift however, came with a lot of thought. It was a world coin collection from EPCOT. I assume he thought since I love to travel and I could always use more money - this was an ideal gift. Spot on!

But I decided that I would open the couple of remaining gifts alone. Funny how in previous years I would look forward to unwrapping these gifts – but not so much this year. For many reasons I suppose; but I truly do feel like I’ve already received so many gifts this year –none that could ever be wrapped or fit under a tree. But there was a box for me, and it was wrapped and it did fit under my tree. I really had no idea what it was – just that it was from one of my dearest friends.

And inside the box was a wood frame, with this beautiful and familiar quote:

“She wasn’t where she had been. She wasn’t where she was going…but she was on her way.”

I felt that familiar lump in my throat and once again the tears began to spill. My friend had read this quote a few months ago – and texted it to me. She said it reminded her of me. And I loved that.

It’s a loaded quote for sure. And I am certain anyone can apply it to some aspect of their life. I even feel like this with running and tri training. But I am sure my friend wasn’t thinking about running when she first read this. I know I wasn’t.

A quick Google search by another dear friend revealed a lengthier version of this quote:

“She wasn’t where she had been. She wasn’t where she was going…but she was on her way. And on her way she enjoyed food that wasn’t fast, friendships that held, hearts glowing, hearts breaking, smiles that caught tears, paths trudged and alleys skipped. And on her way she no longer looked for the answers, but held close the two things she knew for sure. One, if a day carried strength in the morning, peace in the evening, and a little joy in between, it was a good one…and two, you can live completely without complete understanding." ~ Jodi Hills

As I held the frame in one hand, and read the full quote online – my smile started to catch the tears.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Never Settle. Plain and Simple.

I love runners. (Okay, maybe not all runners!) Perhaps safer to say, I love the positive outlook of most runners.*

I recently read this quote from Nelson Mandela:

“There is no passion to be found playing small - in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”
This quote has danced around in my head for the past couple of days, but the essence of this message has been stirring inside me for some time now:
Never Settle

Runners live this message! At least they do on the track. And in a race. And on long runs. And while cross training. (Is there time for anything else?) I rarely hear a runner mumble “That’s good enough,” “that’s fine” or “what else could I do?” Nope. That’s because most runners know they are always capable of becoming better.

I am not suggesting that every runner I know is looking to get faster – but they are usually setting a goal of one kind or another. My friend Kay is close to her goal of running a marathon in every state! Roxanne is training for her first marathon and Kim is contemplating which will be her first. Laura completed her first Half Ironman, while Heather, Ann and I have half-joked (I think) about training for one in 2012. I am sure Rebecca will join us – sans the training!! (In the meantime, I have a more modest goal of finishing a half marathon in under 2:30 – and staying clear of ambulances!) And I know for a fact that this same ambition and passion spills over into the day to day lives of all of these runners.

Perhaps that’s what I love about runners – their passion. In my opinion, passion is what makes getting up in the morning worthwhile! Passion ignites ambition, discovers joy and ultimately lets you live the life you deserve to be living. Why would you want to settle for anything less?

Now grab your sneakers and go hug a runner! (one of the nice ones!)

*Anymore disclaimers and I can become a member of the IBM legal team!