Big Deal

“Autumn…the year’s last, loveliest smile.” – William Cullen Bryant

We’re seeing hints of traditional fall colors popping up here and there, but it is an unhurried transition. In the meantime, check out this unconventional color palette from the park today. And the butterflies and bees enjoy it every bit as much as the human visitors do.

No fall colors to speak of below – traditional or otherwise – but I’ve never really noticed how utterly perfect this tree is. My running and walking routes have taken me by/under it literally a hundred times, yet I’ve never really looked at it. It’s a storybook tree!

Okay, I wasn’t quite as appreciative of this thing. Wasp nest, hornet nest, I have no idea…but I realized as I got closer that it is active, whatever it is. Lots of buzzy critters buzzing in and out. Sooo….Finn and I got out of there rather quickly. I’m fascinated by the construction and beauty of this thing, even if it is more than a little terrifying.

But I actually began today extremely early — and I had experienced my day twenty-eight delight before 7 am.

I met a dear friend for a fun 5K this morning. The event is one of my favorites because it is the most non-traditional running crowd you could possibly find, comprised mostly of hardcore fans of our hockey team. People of all ages, shapes, sizes and fitness levels show up for this. Of course you’ll see your typical zero-body fat, long-legged, mind-bogglingly fast elite-types. But then you’ll see people (I’m not kidding) in blue jeans. Why anyone would cover over three miles in denim is beyond me, but hey, if it works for you, go for it. But this race is definitely a celebration of hockey more than running. (How cute is our mascot, by the way.)

But here’s where the delight came in. I followed this couple from the parking lot to the starting area. I didn’t think much of them at first — he was clearly the spectator and she was a participant. But then I noticed that the man had made multiple signs (hard to tell from the below image) — including one celebrating the fact that this was his companion’s first 5K.

My heart. It wasn’t enough that the man had made more signs than he could possibly utilize within a 3.1 mile course. This was the woman’s first 5K. I was thrilled for her and wanted to hug him.

But I suddenly had an ah-ha moment and cause for self-reflection. I realized that I tend to downplay or diminish the value of shorter distance races when people ask me about them. I seem to have gotten this weird idea that anything less than a half-marathon is an “only” race. “Oh, it’s only a 5K.” Like somehow it’s not as difficult because it’s shorter. But that “only a 5K” is a very big deal. People train for that distance, Their loved ones make signs of support and carry their bags of hydration for them. A finisher’s medal will be worn proudly when it’s over. And not everyone is physically capable of accomplishing something like that. It’s a big freaking deal. Never again will I dismiss the sheer accomplishment of completing an event of any distance. It’s disrespectful to anyone who has worked their butt off (myself included) – and deserves to take tremendous pride in reaching a goal — and it’s disrespectful to the ones who love and support them.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. buddy71 says:

    that is an impressive hive!!!


    1. I was so surprised to find that it was still active!


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