I have a running friend that told me I could run any race I wanted as long as I ran it at a slow enough pace. That sounded like a profound statement that could be used as a metaphor for all kinds of life situations. Unfortunately, I found out this weekend, that was not the case. Turns out, you actually have to train to run a race.
On Friday evening, my 3 sons and I began our 5k race together. I started out well. As planned, my three sons (9, 14, and 14) ran off and left dear old dad to run his own slow race. For the first half of a mile (which I thought was a full mile) I ran like a seasoned veteran. I was going at a sensible pace and was just enjoying the sport of running for the first time in a very long time (almost 2 years).
Then it happened.
I began to grow tired.
It was at this point that someone passed me and said, “I can’t believe we haven’t even hit a mile yet.”
“Well,” I thought to myself “that guy doesn’t know what he is talking about. We are almost at the two mile mark.”
Imagine my surprise when not 15 seconds later, the next person passed me and said “Wow, it hasn’t even been a mile yet.”
Oh man, that hurt.
This is where I began walking.
In fact, I walked the vast majority of the rest of the 3 mile journey fantasizing about ways to short cut to the end, or have my wife show up just around the corner in a window tented rescue vehicle.
Sad but true.
Possibly the saddest moment was in the final ¼ of a mile to the finish line. This is where the sides are all aligned with well-wishers and family members hoping to catch a snap shot of their loved one finishing a hard fought battle. I knew this was coming, and was determined to not let anyone see me walk across the finish line.
So, I began to jog.
But within a hundred feet, I realized a major oversight. There were no other joggers around me except one.
A 4 year old girl.
Does it look worse to finish a race behind a 4 year old girl, or to beat a 4 year old girl at the finish line? I assure you, there is no right answer to this question.
Any which way, coming in 76 out of 80 for your age group and 1168 out of 1296 overall is not a proud place to be. And, that will be the last time I arrive on race day without having trained for the race. And that is a good metaphor for lifeJ