Is it just me, or does everyone else also feel like the long holiday weekend just flew by this year? I think it took a long time for me to get into the Christmas spirit this year and when I finally did, it's already over! How absurd! There are still presents I haven't unwrapped yet and songs on my Christmas CD that I haven't yet heard. What a shame that I now feel obliged to re-package everything and recycle what I don't want for the next hapless friend who holds a special occasion for gift giving. I'm sure whoever that is will absolutely adore the stain glass picture frame I got from my co-worker more than me.
On the flip side though, I had an absolute blast this past weekend hanging with the extended fam. About twenty of us drove up to New Hampshire to spend the holidays at my cousin's place. There were lots of toys, fun, and games to be had as we traded jokes, laughs and shared stories with each other. About eight of us even found time to hit the slopes for some snowboarding and skiing on Saturday. I had originally intended to videotape my next segment of my Running Video Diary while careening down one of the slopes, but since the visibility was close to zero due to some spontaneous snowfall and I could barely see six inches in front of me much less the surrounding landscape, I had to scrap that little project. Still, I managed to conquer my fears (from a broken clavicle suffered on the slopes 2 years ago), hold my own against the snow, had fun with my cousins and somehow made it through to the end of the day with barely a scratch. Imagine that. I might have just found my sport of choice for cross-training during the off-season!
Although there was not much running to be had this weekend (since all the roads in New Hampshire was covered in ice and snow), I did come to a very important realization about running while rambling about my Honolulu Marathon to my cousins and family members who were interested enough to ask about it. It seemed that although they wanted to everything about the course, the scenery, the weather, the people, and how I felt as I was running that day, no one seemed to care how fast I ran, what my finishing time was, or how my pace compared to other races or marathons that I've run. Although I have to admit that most of the people doing the asking were not hardcore runners or even recreational athletes, I still think that their questions still reflect what generally intrigues others about our running - which is what we see, hear, smell, feel and taste while we're actively engaged in our sport. I sense that what we experience as we're running is far more interesting and noteworthy to others than some fluorescent digits on a clock as we cross the finish line. It is really true, no matter how hard it is for us to believe sometimes, that no one really cares as much about your finish time, how fast you ran your first or last mile or how far or close you came to your PR, except you. I realize that in order to run well and inspire others, you not only have to strive to do your best, but in the process, live in the present and take pride and love what you are doing - no matter what your perceptions of your abilities may be.
I'm thankful my family was able to teach me that even without saying a word. My holiday wish is for everyone out there to gain a fresh perspective, a better perspective on their sport of choice, whether running, cycling, swimming, or whatever. Train hard, yes, but enjoy the ride and share your experiences with others, because whether you realize it or not, what you're doing is making a difference in someone else's life!