Yesterday I received an unexpected surprise. I suppose surprises are by definition unexpected, but this was a doubly unexpected surprise. I opened this package and what should I discover but a SportHooks Seven Continents Club medal hanger!
Two of my Table44 shipmates, Kerry and Jean Groce, sent it to me to commemorate my Seven Continents Club victory lap in Antarctica. It was such a sweet gesture, and a reminder that even though as runners and as humans we do a lot of things alone, we’re lucky to have people in our lives who support us. Family, friends, and sometimes strangers cheer us on to do our best, be it in a race or in life. It’s a great feeling to be recognized and loved by others.
So thanks, Jean and Kerry.
And thanks to everyone who has ever uttered a kind word or cheered along.
I know this may sound a little contradictory or even hypocritical when compared to my recent “Gone Clubbing” post. There I spoke of the need for each individual to find their own inner pride in achievements and not to rely on others as a be-all-end-all of worth for efforts. But in my defense, I did say it was great to be recognized and to have people acknowledge what you’ve done. Appreciation runs both ways and there’s something to be said for the morale boost of being cheered by others.
In many ways, this all dovetails with my view of running. Anyone who’s been reading these stray posts from me is probably sick of my proselytizing notion that running is this great individual effort in a sea of communal support. There are few things as positive as the running spirit, one which encourages others to have the best day possible, whatever that may mean for each person. And so while I’m a strong advocate for each person striving for his or her own personal records, pushing through individual boundaries and definitions of success, I fervently believe we are all better off in a world of support.
While we all are charged with maintaining our own happiness in the face of adversity, we all are human and tend to falter and waver. Having support and backup from loving family and friends never hurts.
This post therefore is a long way round to saying specifically thank you to Jean and Kerry, and generally thank you to everyone else who has voiced support over the years, be it in running or in life.
Sometimes we walk alone, but with the support of friends and family, we hope to never be lonely.