I love this time of year.
I, a Christmas NUT who loves to celebrate the holidays, sing Christmas songs, and purchase everything in cute shapes, (I even got myself a pair of these Adidas How We Do Tights in a more festive color when I would always go for black tights!), but what I love more about this time of year, is how we start to feel more appreciative of what we have, of what matters to us.
It is much easier to live with an attitude of gratitude, and for this relentless optimist, it brings everyone into my way of thinking…okay, so not everyone, but more people.
When we think about what matters to us as the holiday season approaches, it makes us want to give back, give to others who might need a little pick me up.
Last week, Steve and I donated to a homeless shelter, and receiving their hand written word of thanks back just made us feel so good, knowing we were making a difference, be it a small difference, can make us see good in this world where often only the negative is portrayed.
I want Bailey to grow up knowing how to give. Knowing that the more good she gives into the world, the more the world will appreciate her gifts and respond to her, The more she is able to show her a passion and kindness to others, the more she will want to do more. This year it was donating to the homeless shelter, in a few years time, I hope we can volunteer in a shelter with her, let her see that giving your time and energy to others can make a world of difference.
Until then, I can help how I can, giving back, and sharing my expertise and advice with other runners who need my help. An area I know a few things about. Running might not be as life changing as some other causes, but I know how much of an impact it can have on a life, the chain reaction it can set off. I learned that when I interviewed Katy Sheratt of Back on My Feet, and have had it in my mind ever since.
Running CAN make a difference to a life.
For 14 years of my life, it was all about my running. It was about where I finished, the place, the position, the time. I wanted to run MY best, and on race day, my loved ones would do whatever I needed them to do for me to have the best opportunity to put myself out there.
That was invigorating, rewarding, and it opened a lot of new doors for me, but now, at a time where I have a priority that comes above my running, it is a wonderful time for me to put others running first. To help those who have stood on the sidelines cheering for me for all these years.
No, not my family, they still aren’t really interested in running themselves. I am talking about the supporters, the fans, the people within my community, both Running for Real Superstars virtually and the Lexington community who are working towards their goals, putting themselves out there by stating a goal, and working towards it.
We know running isn’t easy. It challenges you every single day, it tests you mentally, physically, and emotionally, no matter what level you are training at. I know that from my time as an elite runner, giving advice or tips to new runners or runners who look up to me is one way I can give back. I can help them to learn from my mistakes (although I would argue that many of the mistakes I made are mistakes every runner has to make themselves before they can truly learn). But we all know how much value we can take in from people we look up to. Even just the encouragement that you can do it, can go a long way. I know that all too well.
I especially look forward to supporting the new runners, those who have not yet found the joy of running for running sake, but are out their for the health. If I can help show them it is worth it beyond just losing weight, maybe they will stay in the sport, and we will collect up some new runners who will be in our community for life.
What’s even better is that the event is to support scholarships for kids attending YMCA summer camps, yet another way to feel good about what you are doing.
They are out there doing the best they can, I know what work that requires, and I look forward to giving them the positive voice to counter the nasty negative one that we all have inside, so maybe, I can help them get through a rough patch to make the Reindeer Ramble a race they can remember.
And of course, with Bailey and Steve being there with me, I hope on some level she is taking in the atmosphere and buzz that giving to others, helping others rise up and achieve their potential, brings us too.