BRAVO’S CORNER: AREN’T WE THE LUCKY ONES?
When in the throws of a long run or hard race, and you’re trying to draw every bit of confidence, reserve, even patience to get through it or finish with something extra, have you ever thought: “How lucky am I?” If not, try the perspective of many I’ve run into all over the country, and you can find this “attitude of gratitude” in any environment in which you walk or run.
I speak to folks everywhere about the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon…..their experiences during the weekend, and the race itself. Virtually everyone says how the race premise-all it stands for-and the volunteer support…the general warmth exuded by our city, sets it apart from virtually any running experience they have all year. When they retell the events of the race itself, like any half or full effort, there are challenging times, and each race has a distinct personality. At Oklahoma City, often it’s the surprising undulation of a course that appears more flat at first glance, but is a great mix of gentle hills due to the charismatic neighborhoods it traverses. More than that, the ever-present possibility of wind when you least expect it or desire it. Maybe it’s Classen Boulevard, or if pursuing the full distance, Lake Hefner, which marks the halfway point of the race. The message I’ve heard-or hope to pass on is this: As runners are fighting fatigue, conditions-whatever the battle may be-wondering if they should call it a day, many have mentioned that at that most crucial moment, they see one of the banners with the name of someone lost in the bombing. We talked about how that kept them going, that they were running for something more than themselves……in effect: ‘how lucky I am to be able to hurt this much’, while knowing what they know happened on that terrible day in 1995. I find great gratification hearing, or maybe gently reminding of this message, and it’s all I need to know to feel assured that this runner’s perspective toward running, and in fact, LIFE-is well intact. As well, that there’s a great chance they will continue to thrive in our sport for years to come!
Whether it’s an emotional tie, or maybe that you never thought you’d want to be a runner or walker and are discovering a new passion, find your attitude of gratitude and don’t be afraid to draw from it whenever able. The gift is that it usually comes at the most opportune times! Keep thriving, athletes!