I love New Year’s Day. While I realize that every day of the year is a chance to begin again and make changes, there is something extra special about the first day of a new year. Like a new calendar or a new journal, a new year feels like a clean, blank slate ready to be filled in with new goals, new adventures, and new stories. This year will require a lot of strength so I wanted the first thing written on my blank slate to be an achievement to serve as a reminder that I can get through it.
We spent New Year’s at our friends’ house in Atlanta this year. We enjoy spending time with them and being in a big city, and they have children that C adores and loves to play with. The Atlanta Track Club organized a Resolution Run 4 Mile Race on New Year’s Day which was just the thing I was looking to do. It was cold and raining that morning so I considered not running for moment but when I arrived at the race and saw the 1,500 other people there to run, I was inspired and knew I had to run as well.
The race was cold, wet, and very hilly but I ran the entire thing, slowly and steadily. It was actually the first time I ran since the Savannah half marathon in November, so I really wasn’t ready for it but I figured if I could run 13.1 miles without training then I could certainly run 4 miles.
When I spotted a photographer crouched behind the finish line, I decided to jump for a good photo like I’ve done in many other races. What I didn’t think about was that I just ran 4 miles that I was unprepared for so my legs were more fatigued and shaky than I realized.
I jumped with all the energy I had left over that finish line… and then I fell. My legs crumpled when they hit the ground as if they were wet noodles. I was a bit shocked and completely embarrassed, but otherwise fine without even a scratch thanks to my long sleeves, pants, and gloves. People around me were concerned and rushed to help me up but all I could think of at that moment was “I hope he got the photo!” Thankfully, the photographer did get the photo and I have a memory I can now look back on and laugh at. It was worth taking a fall for.
Our small town held its own Resolution Run 5K the following weekend on Saturday, January 7. This second race was colder than the Atlanta race and also very humid and misty. There were only about 50 people who ran this race which was a huge difference. There were times during this race when I was running alone, whereas in Atlanta I was always surrounded by other people. Still, the people who ran were inspiring none the less. There were quite a few children who ran, the youngest being only 6 years old, and there were many older people (age 60+) who ran. The oldest participant, and the most inspiring for me, was a 78 year old man who had run almost 1,200 races in his lifetime. He won first place in his age group simply because he was the only one running in that age group. That is a running goal I hope to accomplish myself someday. There was no photographer at this race so there was no need to take my chances jumping this time.
This year will be much like these races: challenging and a bit uncomfortable, socially full at times and lonely at others, and certainly more tiring than I may realize. However, I know I will get through it steadily and surely, and I know there are people around who will help me up if I fall. I will push myself to get through whatever comes and I look forward to soaking up inspiration from others along the way.
“Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.”