"More than the time, it's about how you feel - you want to be strong throughout the race."
Exactly! It's about pace and self assessment and consistency and strength. Granted, Ryan is talking about running a marathon, and when it comes to running, I completely agree. But as I considered this thought, I couldn't help but couple it with one of my longtime favorite birthday quotes:
"And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count, it's the life in your years." (Abe Lincoln).
I slipped on my shoes and headed out the door for what has become a birthday ritual. Over the past several years, I have dedicated August 8 to an 8.88 mile run. This year, I kicked up the craziness a bit and decided to run at an 8.88 (8:53) pace. Aside from the symbolism, the run is intentional. I reflect on specific blessings of the previous age and consider the potential for the next one.
Upon review, I could not have asked for a better '43'. I have never run farther or faster than I did this past year. I have never experienced more collective joy and purpose than with our Run For God group this past year. I have never been more at peace with a stage of life than I've been over the past year. Family - check. Friends - check. Health - check. Sure, there were bummer moments, a little pain and some struggles, but honestly I have so much to be thankful for as 43 slips away.
Ultimately, counting blessings took up much of the run. As to the year ahead, I simply circled back around to Ryan and Abe. The objective for 44 is to be strong throughout and to cram as much life into this year as possible! (Oh, and maybe a PR in Chicago :)
May your current age be the best one yet, and here's to your upcoming b'day run!