I was reminded of this question (it was posed a while ago – sorry Spencer!) as I was reading through many different stories after the Boston Marathon that occurred on Monday this week. It was awesome to get to “experience” Boston through the eyes of friends and unknowns. I read descriptions of amazing feats, pure enjoyment, once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, overcoming obstacles, competitiveness, companionship and much more. I saw an inspiring champion cross the line as a mere mortal, defeated, but making the most of his and another’s finish. See that story here.
Running is a sport that can yield so many memories. Just like these Boston memories that were created this week, all runners can look back on some part of their running career and find memories that they will never forget. So, here are a few of my favorite memories … maybe it will spur you to think of your own:
* My first run with my daughter – 10 days after the biggest thing to ever happen in my life, I started what I hope will be a long standing tradition of running with my little girl! Fast forward to now, and she has requested “we go running?!” after daycare the last three days where she jogs and I trot alongside her on the way home :) I hope these runs with my little girl happen the rest of our lives.
* My high school cross country team chemistry – There is just something about cross country teams it seems, and my team was no different. We had a mix of serious runners and not-so-serious runners (I fell into the latter category), but we all worked hard on race day and always had a good time with each other. Some of us ran into a lake after a conference win, we had a bus wreck (with no real injuries but a funny EMS situation), we had every solution known to man for chafing in unseemly areas, we definitely ran around in the shortest shorts possible or in boxers on some days, I got spiked in the head by a teammate, and too many more to mention. Without a doubt, most of my fondest sporting memories come from my cross country teammates. This is the case in spite of me barely caring about running in HS with all my focus on basketball.
* Creating and Directing a 5k community race at Hanover College – One of my prouder moments came the day we had 130+ runners show up for the first annual Hanover College Race to the Point that I created and directed. I ended up running after the group got started and everything was in good shape. It was an out and back course and as my adrenaline led me to a high place finish I couldn’t help but smile and spur on every runner that I passed or met on the course.
* Running a marathon – Two years prior to running my first marathon I could be quoted saying something like “I would never even consider running a marathon. There can be nothing good for the body about training for that distance.” Now, I hope to qualify for Boston and have one of those stories I mentioned above. Running a marathon is a feat that requires mental toughness, nutritional awareness, and physical ability (along with plenty more). I remember fondly tackling PR distance after PR distance in my build up and thinking that I was one of a small-ish group (compared to the full running body) that would ever hit these distances. Now I’ve even considered ultra distances :)
* Coaching hard workouts and PR efforts – I honestly can say that I get more joy out of my clients nailing hard workouts or PRs than I do when I accomplish the same thing. I love having runners that I coach get so pumped up about their fitness level and ability to complete workouts that they didn’t think possible. And I love it when that leads to a PR and/or goal met.
* Running with my dad – Again, how times have changed. I can’t tell you how many runs I have said no to in the past (if you haven’t picked up on it yet, I used to hate running). But I am glad that I have said yes to as many as I have. I really enjoy getting to go out on runs with my dad. It’s a time where we always talk and catch up and enjoy being together. He has a toe injury that might limit or end this time together, but I’ll always cherish it.
* Thanksgiving Day races – I have only missed one Thanksgiving Day race in the last 6 years, and it has become a tradition to make sure I always get it in. There’s just something about getting a good run in prior to the start of the holiday silly season that goes from Thanksgiving to New Year’s.
* Attending the Olympic Trials in Eugene – It was so fun to go and watch the best of our nation compete to see their Olympic dreams come true. In spite of it being men/women just running around in circles for however many laps, I love to watch the strategy play out and to see the best in action.
* Running with my wife in college – My wife is currently a 2-4x/year runner … we’re working on that :) But I have some fun memories of running with her in college. I may or may not have used these runs as a way to flirt with her from time to time …
* Running in Tanzania – What a great experience to run in the mountains of Tanzania! Some of the local kids would join us for little sections of our runs, but they didn’t understand why we would run just to run (without a ball to kick or a game to play). It was a great opportunity to experience a brand new place through the lens of running!
There are many more that I could put on this post, but there is no good way to pick and choose. I hope this has inspired you to think of your own running memories. Or better yet, I hope you’ve thought of the new memories you want to create going forward!
For daily wellness, marathons and every mile in between...