In about an hour I’ll say good bye to the 30-39 age group and start competing against more seasoned runners. That’s ok. After pounding the pavement in the sticky, humid St. Louis summers and leaning into the brisk winds of those cold days when sunlight was short and gentle, I am feel content with the move. By this point in life, countless hills have been conquered so there is an inner fortitude that replaced the competitiveness of youth. I cannot run like I used to but that fine. It’s ok to be age-appropriate in this sport!
Over the years I have had some amazing runs in wonderful places. I recall watching surfers while on beach runs in Australia, flashing my passport while crossing from Lithuania into Latvia, and sprinting away from packs of street dogs in Bolivia. I jogged with Masai tribesmen in the Rift Valley in Kenya and dodged sheep in the highlands of Scotland. I remember getting lost in the Pyrennes and having to hitchhike back to the village where I was staying. Running in these places were splendid since they afforded experiences beyond the beaten paths of tourists. It sounds snobby, but the only way to experience Venice is not from a gondola but from a 5:15 am run through the empty streets.
The years have flown by like miles beneath my feet yet I give thanks to God tonight. Humbled by life and by my foolishness of chasing passing things, it feels good to have the energy to keep going and even better to have a keen sense of where I want to go. Isn’t it great to be a runner?