You've already seen my run down on the splash & dash Rival Run 5K – the crazy almost-5K that almost never happened. And the write ups of the 10K and half marathon portions of the Rival Run Challenge are coming. But before I sit down and do that – I had something that felt more important to share with you.
The Rival Run Half Marathon was an incredible race. It was hot and sticky with countless miles on the road but it was a great, great race.
I learn so much on any race course – both from my own internal dialogue and from watching the runners around me with open eyes and an open heart. And I owe so much of my mindset during yesterday's race to a hand cyclist whom I don't know, and likely never will, but with whom I had the honor of sharing a few brief moments during one of the course's steeper inclines.
Pretty far into it, we were climbing one of the many hills that you forget exist in Florida until you're made to run up them. It was already hot and humid and we were all just trekking upwards – when I realized that I was closing in on this hand cyclist battling his way up the same hill using nothing but his arms. It was amazing and immediately made me regroup on the physical pain that I was fighting through.
The hand cyclist had a runDisney security guard on a bicycle escorting him through the race. They were talking as they progressed up the hill and as I approached them and slowly passed I heard the hand cyclist say to his escort “My God. A visually impaired runner. That's incredible.”
I had been so focused on admiring him that I hadn't looked forward and seen the visually impaired runner that was on the same road just ahead of us.
And I realized that this hand cyclist was functioning at his own baseline in such a completely accepting way that he was able to look ahead and admire another person that was fighting a different battle.
We all have our challenges out there on the course and in life. Some of them are visible, some of them are not. And maybe in accepting our own situations at any given moment – in letting whatever our baseline is just be without resentment or jealousy – we would allow ourselves to see the world with more compassion.
So today, with the Rival Runs behind me, I carry this lesson learned on the course. Let me walk into this day accepting who and where I am in this moment without self pity or resentment and let me see the world around me with compassion and an open heart.