They say a picture is worth a thousand words. In the interest of full disclosure, regardless of the picture, I don’t know a thing about running. The last time I ran a mile was probably in the seventh grade. I expect I was at the end of the pack and finished after dark, alone, tired, and wondering why anybody would ever want to run a mile. Much less over and over again.
What little I can tell you about this picture is that the runner finished first, or last, or in the middle of the pack. I guess you could have figured that out given the picture, however, but sometimes it helps when I write my thoughts down on paper. Especially when they are obvious.
When I look at this picture I think of the immense satisfaction one must feel when he or she crosses the finish line, whether first, or last, or in the middle of hundreds, if not thousands, of other runners. Not everyone is built for running, and the older I get, the less I feel like pounding pavement, with the ultimate goal being to cross the finish line. I’ll trade the euphoria of the race well run for 50 miles of leisurely walking each and every month.
What I can tell you about the picture is that the runner came in 45th out of 532 runners that day. His overall time in the 5K race was 22 minutes and 9 seconds (despite what the clock says) and his pace was 7 minutes and 9 seconds per mile. Overall, he placed seventh out of 53 men between the ages of 30 and 39. Pretty impressive statistics, if I say so myself.
The numbers, the pace, or even the picture aren’t really that important to me. What’s important is that the runner challenged himself, against a variety of odds, and crossed the finish line with a sense of pride that only he could feel. I would have never guessed from the picture that he was 35th out of 227 men that were running that day. Quite an accomplishment!
I’m proud of this runner, just like I’m proud of all 532 people who attempted the race that day. Whether they finished in first place, last place, or in the middle of the pack, they are all winners in my book.
That’s especially true about this runner. He ran for all the right reasons. He’s not running to please anyone, to break a record, or to be a star. He already is a star, and for that I’m grateful. We used to call this intrinsic motivation. I’m not sure what they call it now. What ever you want to call it, he has it, and that is a great and wonderful accomplishment!
Congratulations #1401. We know who you are, and it certainly goes without saying that we are so very proud of you.
Even more so, I am proud of you.