Hundreds of miles. Dozens of loads of laundry. Hours of stretching and recovery. For me, running season ended two weeks ago. Hurrah!
I finished this year in a galaxy far, far away with the Star Wars Half Marathon. After running the Light Side half marathon in Disneyland, I could not consider my season complete without running with the partner Dark Side run! I was running solo (Han Solo, that is) and I decided to go all out and make a ridiculous costume. I was a running Spoiler Alert complete with pool noodle light saber piercing my body. (yes, I ran 13.1 miles with a flopping light saber!)
I was not prepared for the outpouring of emotion this would cause! I would say that 70% of my fellow participants thought it was an amazing, hilarious, and clever costume. But 30% of my fellow runners were still in mourning over the loss of their beloved character and I received some wrath along the course. It proved to remind me how powerful other’s comments and opinions could be. When I was at low points in the race (miles 8-11) and people yelled, “Too soon! How could you?” at me it made me drag my feet and slow down. Alternatively, when I was nearing the end of my energy and met a kind man gave me a high five and said, “This costume is amazing! A pool noodle, duct tape, electrical tape and a chopstick…You are the champion of the human species!” It added some pep to my step and got me through the last two miles.
Words matter. Kindness matters. I believe that there are no neutral interactions. In every conversation with a human being, I have the opportunity to encourage them and be a positive interaction. I can add pep to the bag boy’s step when I interact with gratefulness in the check out line. Or I can knock the cashier down a joy level through my curtness or snarkiness. The choice is up to me. Words are not neutral. Be kinder than necessary!
I am thankful for those who encouraged me and brought me through 13.1 miles. You share in my victory!
Running Season stats:
Race Miles completed: 72.2!
Running shoes: 4.
Toenails lost: zero!!!
In the words of Bridget Jones, “An excellent year’s progress!”