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Run Your Own Race (RYOR)

by | Oct 04, 2017

“Hey, I need you to donate to my World Vision fundraiser, the money will go to clean water initiatives for children in Africa”, said my friend.

“I’ll definitely donate but why didn’t you tell me so I could run too? You know how I feel about children having access to clean water.”

“Because I know how you feel about running and exercise and it’s a half marathon. I’ve been training all year for it.” He scoffed playfully.

“Touché. When is it?”

“It’s in two days, this Sunday in Central Park and I have to raise at least $1000.”

I replied, “I’ll donate but I’m signing up to run!”

I’m not an athlete, my heart pounds after running for the bus, I’m not fit and running is not my thing but passion and desire supersede my laziness and I enjoy new experiences. And that’s how I ran my first half marathon. Ignorance is all the way bliss! There is power in the unknown because maybe I would have been more strategic or realistic had I known it was going to take my unfit body almost 4 hours to run a 13 mile course! Whew! It was definitely more mental than physical because I was determined to persevere and get to the end.

4 hours

I feel like the run can be likened to your life in terms of being on a path to a specific destination. There are different signs (mile markers) to direct you and update you on your progress. There are uphills and downhills, sometimes people walk or run with you, other times they run ahead or you have to say “bye” or “see you later” as you run ahead. There are people there to encourage you when you start to get weary but what matters is that you determine, set and finish your course.

As I passed up the offer to drink water, I remembered that some children do not have access to water and as I complained about my feet hurting because my sneakers didn’t have good support, I remembered that some children do that distance or more every day…barefeet…

1st world

I ran the half marathon in October 2015 but I wanted to start a tradition of participating in family runs so I signed up my husband and two sons for a race.

Dumont 5K

During this run with my family, my goal was to enjoy the experience. I wasn’t afraid of turning into a pillar of salt but I knew looking back would solely prompt me to compare myself or compete with others. When I ran my half marathon, a woman on crutches passed me by and stayed ahead of me! But it’s my own race to run, right? My husband often says that he is in competition with his past to do better, not with anyone else.

Finish Line

My three year old son and I were running and we passed a cemetery. I said to him “Hadar, do you know what that is?” I continued, that’s one of the richest places on the earth. His curiosity piqued, “Why, Mommy?”

Premature death and procrastination have robbed many of the opportunity to fulfill their potential and dreams. The cemetery has songs we’ve never heard; movies we’ve never watched; books and blogposts we’ve never read.

How can you be more intentional about achieving your goals?

  1. Focus on running your own race and be intentional about your legacy
  2. Get a productivity coach or an accountability partner
  3. Redeem the time and avoid procrastination which is the ultimate thief of time