“In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart. I simply can’t build up my hopes on a foundation consisting of confusion, misery and death.”
–Anne Frank, from The Diary of Anne Frank.
Hope — that is the focus of today’s post. The following was written on the morning of the Boston Marathon 2013, just 6 day ago. I was getting ready to post it when my cousin from Phoenix called to see if I was in Boston after hearing about the bombings. Luckily, I hadn’t posted this essay yet that day. I am, however, posting it as it was written today. In the light of what happened in Boston, I hope it brings you some lightness.
Happy Patriots’ Day! Today is the 117th running of the Boston Marathon. Two years ago today I ran the Boston Marathon. It’s hard to believe it’s already been that long ago.
To all my running friends in Boston today: BEST OF GOOD LUCK! I am there with you in spirit.
Me, near the 20-mile mark of the Boston Marathon, April 2011.
Yes, today I’m nostalgic. That’s why I’m asking this poignant question of myself and of you, too: If you could turn back the hands of time, would you? Have you ever wished you could re-live a day or event in your life? Perhaps even correct a mistake or two?
Those were the days! Me, during the 1990s in Santa Fe, NM, running the Big Tesuque Race. I was 25 when this was taken!
Ah yes, the Mount Evans Ascent Race is nothing compared to those shoulder pads and puffy hair! Boy, they were BIG back then!
My answers to those questions are clear: NO — I would not go back, especially if I couldn’t take my 40something wisdom with me. What would be the point?!
Also, people often ask me if I ever want to go back to Boston and run it again? My answer to that is, probably not, although I would like to run another Boston Marathon qualifying time.
Don’t get me wrong. I am human, after all, and this blog is titled, “Boston OR Botox.” Yes, I want to keep running strong. Yes, I would prefer not to repeat my life’s mistakes. And, yes, I miss my flawless 25-year-old skin. When I look at pictures of me from back then, particularly the one with me and my mom (shown above), I think to myself, “Dang — I won the genetic lottery.” I had such a great complexion (thanks to my mom) and I didn’t even appreciate what I had at the time. I remember finding flaws with myself instead. What a shame that can be — how we tend to be own worse inner critics.
But here’s a valuable lesson I’ve learned since my 20s and 30s. Sure, my face and life’s path had few blemishes then, but only because I was just getting started. I hadn’t taken too many risks yet.
No one’s life is perfect. What defines a person isn’t he’s made mistakes or had failures; it’s how an individual chooses to rise above them — or not.
Everything that’s happened to me through the years –the good and bad — the easy and the hard — the achievements and disappointments — wrinkles, injuries, childbirth, and hardships and mistakes — have shaped me into I am today. I am grateful for who I am and what I have today. That’s why I would not want to go back.
One of the blessings of growing older, I think, is becoming comfortable in your own skin — from the inside out. The other day I got to run with some Columbine girlfriends. All of us who were there that day are in our 40s. I always get the sense when I’m with them that they, too, feel this way — comfortable in their own skin today. You can’t buy in an anti-aging serum.
Obviously, I am not one to take the whole physical aging process without a fight but that’s also where running helps. Exercising, eating well, leading a healthy lifestyle — are the best remedies I know of for this.
I do dream about qualifying for Boston again but I would not want to return to 2011. My memories are great. That’s enough. When I qualify again, it will be a step forward, not back — whatever age I am at that time.
That is what running comfortable in my skin is about for me. How about you?
“Aging is inevitable, but growing old is a choice. Lace up your shoes, and let’s go!”
Mileage today: 10.4; mileage for 2013: 717