Erin Finn is currently one of the premier high school distance runners in the United States. (I had the privilege of watching her race at the USA XC Championships.) Unfortunately, she actually missed Footlocker Nationals this year, but in no way does that diminish her talent. Why am I bringing her up? One of her comments in an interview with Flotrack resonated with me:
“Sorry to bring up Foot Locker again, but this taught me not to hinge seasons on individual meets, titles, or times. To have a perfect senior year, I want to enjoy each race that I compete in. I want to remember that I compete for fun because I love running. I want to have a wonderful time with my teammates and friends, train hard, and soak up the last bits of awesomeness from high school track and field.”
As someone who has relatively recently completed her high school career, I couldn’t agree more. I can’t even begin to compare myself to Erin Finn, but I understand where she’s coming from. Looking back, I miss cross country and track so much. Even as much as I disliked the running-in-circles-eight-times part, I would still go run track all over again in a heartbeat. I suppose it’s like that with a lot of things.
And that’s why I want to live with purpose now. Sure, I knew I was going to be done with track on May 25, but not everything is that way. Life happens; things don’t go as planned. I could have a horrific accident and never be able to run again. I could have a traumatic brain injury and never be able to speak again. There could be a natural disaster and I might never be able to go to school here again. Sorry to jump to the extremes, but it illustrates my point. I don’t mean to say to live as though we are going to die tomorrow (that might lead to some irrational behavior). I do mean to say that we ought to live as though we recognize we could die tomorrow, but probably won’t. I mean to suggest that we should value what we have–life, time, hobbies, even the menial, daily chores of existence–as a fleeting gift. Live, breathe, rejoice, love, run.
“I want to enjoy each race that I compete in. I want to remember that I compete for fun because I love running.”