Beyond Disappointment Runs Hope

“Either you run the day or the day runs you.” – J. Rohn

How many times in life have you had to deal with things either not going the way you planned or not turning out the way you had hoped it would. If you ask me, too often. In the typical everyday scheme of things, life seems to be full of disappointments; from unemployment to sickness to death, it can be overwhelming and downright depressing at times. Add the running dynamic and things get a bit more dicey. Not only do you have to deal with life’s everyday disappointments, but now you have those that come along with the sport as well. How do we do it?

At the beginning of the year, I made a list. Remember those new year resolutions/ goals..yep those, well mine were particular to running and on there were a few pertaining to achieving new times and running new races. Mainly , I wanted to qualify for Boston next year, by which I mean run Boston next year, and frankly though I knew they weren’t interchangeable, I really didn’t consider not getting in if I qualified. You guys know what happened with that – major disappointment. But I survived, had to live to run another day right? In any event, I’m thinking… Ok, I still have Denver, my fun, exploratory run, which I’ve been looking forward to for sometime now, only now it’s also not happening. After much thought and strategizing, it seems more prudent to run a marathon that will allow me to re qualify, which is what I must do to run Boston 2016. Dreams of high-altitude (not really), rolling hills, fresh air, scenic route, adventure, and meeting new runners aside, I must now channel and redirect that energy and enthusiasm to achieve a bigger dream.

image

Disappointment, I accept as a part of life. As a part of my running life, I find it a bit harder to manage – but manage I must. There is no where one can hide really. No runner plans on injury before a race after training so hard for so long, or on not finishing or qualifying or making the cut. Or what about falling sick, having a bad race or race cancellation (as was the case with the ING NYC Marathon 2012). These are not plans a runner makes, on the contrary, we do everything within out power to ensure we have the opportunity for a successful race: we train long and hard, sacrifice time, money, energy and give up so many things to make our dream happen, and to be honest, it happens as often as it doesn’t. So really 50/50 is not so bad but the over-achiever in me wants a higher percentage in my favor.

The key to overcoming and managing your disappointments, come as they must, lies in your perspective and in your hands. You see, our ability to choose what we do with what happens to us or even around us will ultimately determine our attitude and shape our actions. Choosing to put a positive spin on things, to see the light at the end of the tunnel, to take the good and leave the bad is a choice we have. This choice can either absorb us or absolve us, it can either makes us or break us, destroy us or build us. We get to choose. Each time I am faced with disappointment, I choose hope; I choose to motivate myself to try harder, to run faster, to be more diligent and more determined. It works for me.

The Philadelphia Marathon comes up on November 23, it’s my next hope for Boston 2016, where I hope to qualify with a faster time than before. I hear it’s a fast and pretty flat course, there should be some advantage to that. The weather will also be much colder, hopefully more cool than cold, but this is my reply when disappointment comes, I plan another race, I train a little harder, and mentally prepare myself to achieve what is inevitably a tougher goal the second time around. I never give up. Quitting is never an option.

Advertisements

Fall In Love with Running this Fall

imageI am the eternal optimist. Let me tell you right off that I haven’t always been this way; times past, I have been quite the critique and complainer, what some people call.. high-maintenance, but a couple of years ago I made an important discovery.. my Aha moment if you will. I figured life is full of disappointments and dread but juxtaposed to this is its wonderful surprises and beautiful things.. depends on who’s looking and from where; remember my “perspective is everything” mantra? You see, battling disappointments can be a consuming past-time, who has time for that, so I decided to lean on the side of beautiful things as I really don’t have time for much else. Fast forward today and finding out yesterday that I missed the cut off 1:02 under qualifying mark for Boston 2015 by 22 seconds.

After the initial dread and tears which lasted a few minutes, I cannot allow for days as others who’ve described their past experiences, I smiled. Because I’m proud of me. Proud that I qualified within my first year of trying and that I came so close. While I’m in solidarity with the 1,946 other qualifiers who didn’t get in, I have so much hope for next year. Now to be honest, it is no easy feat to qualify: the sacrifice, commitment and hard work, that went into doing so is a testament to running excellence and is reason enough to be proud of your achievement. For some though, it might be impossible to do so again.. It is for those that my heart goes out; that you will never know the reward of your effort. May it be enough that you qualified. For others like myself, we know that runners never quit. It is the indelible spirit that unifies us, that we will train harder, run faster, do better and we will RUN BOSTON.

So tears aside, the race goes on and there are some great races all over the country to choose from if you’re going ahead with trying for Boston 2016 right away. Just so you know, the qualifying window opened last week, so all qualifying races that you run from here on until next year can count. I’m playing around with ideas such as Philly, New Jersey, Marine Corps DC or Anthem Richmond Marathon; all in beautiful Fall and with good courses to do a fast time. Whichever you choose, don’t forget to make sure it’s a qualifier.

The best things about running in the Fall season is nature and its transforming beauty. I heart its colorful changes, musicality and cool sunshine. And I get to do it from beautiful New York, oftentimes, in lovely Central Park. Therefore, it was only fitting that I ushered in the season with a 12 mile exhilarating run there two days ago. I felt so buoyant, so hopeful, so filled with wonder then and even now. I hold on to that, not allowing the disappointment of yesterday to steal my joy in today and in the promise of some beautiful Fall runs.

image

 

Running toward the future: there is hope beyond 9/11

IMG_0334Today is a nostalgic and heartening day for New Yorkers and those around the country as we recall the events of September 11, 2001: the day our world (view) changed forever. I hardly ever deviate from my running rants but I thought today was deserving of an exception, though not really, because this is New York and it’s my home now..my running home..and pretty much everything can be tied to running.

Below is a brief outline, courtesy History.com, of what went down on that day here in New York while I stood thousands of miles away before a television at Piarco Int’l Airport in Trinidad, my home country.

On a clear, sunny late summer day in September 2001, Al Qaeda terrorists aboard three hijacked passenger planes carried out co-ordinated suicide attacks against the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., killing everyone on board the planes and nearly 3,000 people on the ground. A fourth plane crashed into a Pennsylvania field, killing all on board, after passengers and crew attempted to wrest control from the hijackers.

It is one of the notable things that when something momentous occurs in our lives, we hardly ever forget, even the minute details surrounding that occasion, as with that day as I was standing by the television in our lounge area at work. I remember what I was wearing, who I was talking to, precisely what I was doing..everything stands out in stark clarity in that moment in time as I saw the plane going into the tower..it felt so unreal that I remember my first words were – is that a movie – what followed was the most horrific and real live event I have ever seen on television, and to this day, those images of people jumping from buildings, the crash, the fire, the cries, the smoke, the carnage are embedded in my memory. The irony is, I never at that time thought that six years later I’d be here; back then, I was so very distraught for the suffering and pain of fellow human beings, and honestly, I was glad I wasn’t there. Selfish but true. How time changes things, changes us, mostly for the better I think. Today I stand here, not quite the New Yorker I’m told, though I like to think I am – I’m still too much of a tourist and enjoy the city too much. Be that as it may, I am heartened along with New Yorkers as we remember all those who died on that fateful day. In somebody’s famous words –

“We Remember, We Rebuild, We come back Stronger.”

imageToday Ground Zero stands with the famed Freedom Tower/ 1 World Trade imageCenter and the memorial as beacons of hope, strength, fortitude and vision. It is the heart and love of New York where everyone comes with one purpose in mind, to honor and remember those who died here. It is here we are reminded how alike we; what being human really means. So today, I’m running to #1 World Trade Center as I remember the victims of 9/11, thanking God for this opportunity and for the many that have arisen out of this tragedy for New Yorkers and the city of New York.imageWhat they, the highjackers and terrorists, meant for evil, God will work out for good. They thought to destroy, to weaken , to conquor and divide but in truth, what they have done is embolden a nation, strengthen it’s backbone, unify its people and inspire hope, faith and a sense of community in a people that will continue to rise victoriously; one nation under God.

Victims, because you can’t run anymore..this one’s for you. Survivors, because of your strength..I run in hope with you.

image

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 505 other followers

%d bloggers like this: