Saturday, March 18, 2017

My Running Fountain of Youth: Runner Streak Day #3000

My Hood to Coast Team - First Place Women's Sub Masters 2016

Tomorrow marks my 3000th day of running everyday and I get to celebrate it by participating in the Portland Shamrock Run.  I will be running alongside many people I have had the pleasure of running with over the 8+ years of my running streak and the 30+ years I have been running in Portland. I am especially looking forward to running with my friends in the LifeChange Program at the Union Gospel Mission. The most amazing transformations happen through running and I am witnessing it weekly.  

I have been thinking about this running every day quite a bit because this adds up to more than 8 years of my life.  Many things happen in 8 years. I am almost 52 years old so you can imagine that I have questions for myself about this habit and how long I can sustain it.  

I was also thinking about how running (or really doing anything) everyday for such an amount of time might change a person.  How can we really measure this? How can I really know if the personal growth I have encountered is a product of age and maturity or because there is power in making a commitment to oneself and seeing it through.  

Dave and Paula Harkin - Sunset on the Corridor 2016

I know that ever so slowly, I build muscle and stamina and strength and confidence and most importantly, I build trust. Trust with others and trust with myself.  What have I learned? I have learned that a life with meaning happens when you love yourself and others unconditionally.  It begins when others can count on what you say and what you do.  It happens when you give your gifts to those around you freely and willingly.  I believe I am on my way!!  Maybe I would have learned many of these valuable lessons without running more than 17,000 miles and many many pairs of shoes! 

I have a passion for running and what it can do for women and men and children and I want to share it. I think it is my gift! We all have gifts and if we take time, we can develop these gifts.  It’s like finding the Fountain of Youth.  I found mine and it flows through me. I love sharing the miles with people that want to come run from our store or in my races.

I do know this, when we meet I will run with you at your pace or mine and I will do my best to remember your name.  I will listen to your story if you will allow me.  I will help build our community and share in the joys and pains of what together we see, hear, and say along the way.  

I feel privileged to run everyday and I do not take it for granted.  I will drink from the cup of running as long as it will have me and I will save a sip for anyone that is thirsty enough to find his or her best self. 

Runner Streak Day #3000.  (RSD#3000)

Men's LifeChange Program - Union Gospel Mission