It was only a few days ago, Christmas Eve to be exact, that I was lamenting over what a lousy year 2007 has been for me in terms of running. Injuries kept me on the sidelines for more days than I care to remember making 2007 my lowest mileage year ever, by far. If that didn't provide enough fuel to fill my self pity tank, during the last group run of the year, I go out and pull a calf muscle six minutes in - cue the violin.
Things happen for a reason; no one is ever sure what those reasons are, but by you accepting this premise, my story will flow a little better. I was at the height of my self pity, a pathetic sight for sure, realizing that I would not get out on Boxing Day for my annual "Christmasy" run when my "thing" happened. It wasn't an event or a revelation, it was a Christmas gift from my wife, Gloria. It wasn't an expensive gift or running gear, nor was it even a book about running. My "thing" was a simple picture of me finishing my favourite race in July of this year, dry mounted with the following words etched over top:
"One foot in front of the other...if you stumble, never stop."
The gift was special for two reasons. First, it was kind of creative and if you know Gloria, you'll understand what I mean when I say that she and creativity often travel separately. But second, the gift was special because it brought a purpose to what I was believing to be a lousy running year. A little eight by ten piece of foam core suddenly made all of those days watching other people run when I myself could not, meaningful. When you're injured, you look after yourself and when you look after yourself you can do the things you want to do. The human spirit is indeed unbreakable.
I can now look forward to 2008 and all that it holds for me and I look at 2007 a little differently than before; after all, had it not unfolded the way it did, I never would have received my special "thing".
Go out and make 2008 your masterpiece.