Each time I am at the start line of a running race, I feel a twinge of nervousness that lets me know my competitive edge, although softened a bit, has not completely disappeared. This feeling reminds me of where I came from and where I want to be. I share my story in hopes it will offer someone else a chance to let go and live in 2014.
It was a family-friendly 5K race that meandered through the streets of a beautiful Midwestern neighborhood. It was a crisp, 42-degree fall morning, which made for perfect running weather. Beams of sunlight illuminated the frost-coated grass, causing the ground to shine like a field of diamonds.
After a short sprint at the start of the race, my husband and I slowed to a comfortable, steady pace. For a brief moment the wind picked up, and I regretted not wearing gloves. But after bending my frigid fingers a few times, and taking in a long, deep breath, a warmth that could only come from gratitude spread throughout my body.
About a mile into the race, I noticed a small competitor, (around age six or seven), eyeing me. With David Beckham hair, big brown eyes, and slick athletic pants swishing at a high speed, I couldn't help but smile. Although he was approximately five strides ahead of me, he would periodically look back to see where I was. At one point, he slowed long enough that we ran side by side. I feared he was growing tired, so I offered an encouraging word.
Either the child was truly encouraged or he simply wanted to get away from the overly friendly lady in the turquoise cap; he suddenly burst ahead.1