I recently had the honor of serving water and sports drinks at Mile 25 of the Eau Claire Marathon along with students, alumni, administration, and a few of their family members from Globe University-Eau Claire. I admired the runners that came to Mile 25. Some looked completely spent as they neared the finish line. Others ran swiftly with barely a bead of perspiration, certainly not exhibiting the exhaustion I would have at this point.
I have to admit I have never been a runner, even in my “prime.” Now, overweight and aging, I will probably never run a marathon. But I still have aspirations! So, as I look at the runners, I wonder about what drives them. We can all take lessons from these runners. Here are my musings from the sidelines to inspire me to perspire a bit in my race called life:
1. Set a goal. These athletes certainly had a goal in mind and were determined to accomplish it. We can all set goals and determinedly pursue them. Determination is the key. Choices must be made each and every day to stay true to that goal and to stay on the course.
2. Value your values. We each have values that are important to us. These are the long term goals that carry us through life. Even if you fall short of a goal, never let go of the values that you hold.
3. Follow your passions. It certainly is a lot easier to commit to an activity that you you are passionate about!
4. Learn from your mistakes. I was told by a concerned parent standing near our water station of her daughter who ran the previous year and ended up with injuries from not training properly. This year the daughter trained and was prepared. She had made a mistake that cost her the race but she didn’t let that stop her from trying again. We often make mistakes that can help prepare us better for the future.
5. Go the extra mile to show compassion and encouragement. I was especially “warmed” by the husband that finished the race, ran back to mile 25 to meet his wife and to run with her to encourage her toward the end of the race. I’m convinced he would have run back to wherever she was on the trail to encourage her on the the finish line.
6. Keep moving forward. Some of the runners needed to keep moving just to keep their muscles from “freezing.” Life is like that too! Don’t stand still or look back too long! Keep moving forward. It’s okay to glance in the rear view mirror occasionally but you will move forward with the best results by looking ahead.
I would love your input. Distance runners and athletes, what drives you? Participants in the human race, what motivates you? Even those who are “sideliners” in the race called Life, what encourages you each day?