For years I over-salted my food. As I sprinkled away, tongue in cheek, I’d loudly announce, “I am a runner.”
My justification was that runners sweat massively, losing tons of sodium, so we needed extra salt.
Even though I haven’t run much at all in nearly three years, I still use that line.
The truth is, I love salt.
A couple of months ago, I had my office painted. I took everything off the walls, including my huge collection of running medals. The paint has been dry for months, but the medals remained in my closet. If I put them back on the wall, was I living in my Glory Days, I wondered?
I love my medals. Each one represents commitment, perseverance, pushing through a physical or mental barrier, and my insatiable drive to excel. I can’t use words to describe the physical feeling when that award is placed over your head by a volunteer at the finish of a race. Often it was the anticipation of that feeling that kept my legs moving at miles 23 and 24 when my head said “enough.”
In 2017 I ran a 33-mile ultra-marathon in the Grand Canyon.
Eight hours later, at the end of the uneven, sunbaked, dusty trail, I bowed my head toward the volunteer at the finish line in anticipation of my well-earned medal.
Instead, the volunteer directed me to a table with a display of handmade mugs and instructed me to take one.
I asked the gal behind the table if we were getting medals as well.
She said no, the awards for the finishers this year are mugs.
“I JUST RAN 33 MILES FOR A MUG?” I screamed in my head!
Obviously, I run for more reasons than a medal, but man, I was disappointed.
One by one, I took those medals out of the closet, and, placing each one over my head, I nostalgically recalled the course, the training, and the glorious feeling of triumph as I crossed the finish line.
Then, one by one, I took them off, carefully folding the ribbon and placing them in a box.
I thought about this song by Bruce Springsteen…
I had a friend was a big baseball player
Back in high school
He could throw that speedball by you
Make you look like a fool boy
Saw him the other night at this roadside bar
I was walking in, he was walking out
We went back inside sat down had a few drinks
But all he kept talking about was
Glory days, well they’ll pass you by
Glory days, in the wink of a young girl’s eye
Glory days, glory days
The problem with living in our Glory Days is that we don’t enthusiastically set future goals when we are busily celebrating past victories.
You see, we ARE our past victories.
Each past victory is a building block that creates the foundation of who we are today.
Today, I am a hiker.
I have set a goal to hike the entire Appalachian Trail.
And based on what I have accomplished in my Glory Days, I know I can realistically achieve this goal.
Cheers to the new, up-and-coming Glory Days!