Thankfulness Race Report
“Thank you for loving me” –Thank you for hearing me, Sinead O’Connor
Before this year, health is something I always took for granted. I figured a day would come when the physical body would begin to fail, but I thought that was decades away. Despite my gray hair, I didn’t consider my body any differently than I did when I was in my 20s. After the bike accident on June 13th, my perspective on health and strength changed.
Following the bike accident, I dealt with a series of other physical setbacks—in September alone I withstood a sprained foot, sprained ankle, and sprained back. But over these months, I found deeper spiritual strength than ever before.
As my body healed, I planned to run the thanksgiving Turkey Trot. In a somewhat ironic and strangely fitting way, the week before the race I got hit with a strong head cold. Even when I picked up the packet yesterday, I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to run or not.
“You can walk, you can talk just like me.” –Thank you for sending me an angel, Talking Heads
The starting line included 500 people and I stood next to a man running his first 5K, in honor of a niece who had been murdered. From a distance, I saw a hand counting down from five and we were off on the 30 degree Thanksgiving morning.
I started at a fairly moderate pace. With a crowd of people around me, the remnants of a cold in my head, and an ankle I’ve been nursing the last couple of months, I didn’t push the pace. I selected music to listen to that spoke of thankfulness and took whatever my body would give me.
“You call me and it’s not so bad, it’s not so bad.” –Thank You by Dido
My Garmin watch was alone and forgotten on the kitchen counter at home, so I had no idea the pace or distance I was running. When I thought we had run about one mile, I was surprised to pass the sign that read “Mile 2”. Not to long after there was a turn around point and I began to pick up the pace. It seemed like only a few minutes later we passed the “Mile 3” sign and my legs turned faster. I sprinted to the finish, passing about a half dozen people in the last 100 meters.
“It’s Called Gratitude, And That’s Right” –Gratitude, Beastie Boys
I finished at 27:17 with a lot of strength left in my body. Had it not been for the head cold, I could have taken a few minutes off that time. But today was not about speed, it was about being thankful for health, deeper strength, and the love of so many friends and family that have supported me this year.
Thank you to all of you who have loved me and helped to make me a better husband, father, friend, son, brother, pastor, and child of God.