How do you celebrate the good times in your life; the smile-inducing memories? All the years I spent doing fun-run events, marathons and triathlons, mark some of my favorite personal achievements. Not that I ever came in first or even finished in the top ten; I certainly did not! But I saw improvement in my abilities for a time and learned a lot about myself.
In order to do triathlon I learned how to swim properly and ride a bike with clipless pedals. I gained personal bests in 5K and 10K events. And, without realizing it, I was keeping MS in check. MS was there, lurking, during those years, showing up as a persistent lack of stamina that I could never overcome. An MRI for a stubborn headache revealed evidence of “demyelinating disease” while I was training for my next triathlon.
I have a couple of notorious closets here at home that contain things untouched for a while; okay, years. Maybe even a decade ... or more.
In one of these deserted chambers dwell my treasured running memorabilia. T-shirts, finishers' medals and swag, camel-backs and clip-on food pouches. There’s even a foil thermal blanket handed out at a marathon finishing line. All of them, hard won emblems of my years of fun runs and weekend warrior-ship! I’ve even kept every bib number I’ve ever worn in a large photo album. Priceless stuff.
What to do with my trinkets and sentimental keepsakes? The t-shirts in particular, are dear to me as evidenced by the pile of them that have lived in a far corner of my bedroom walk-in closet. I decided to make them into a quilt, so that I could enjoy their colorful graphics and the achievement, fun and fitness they represent.
The things learned during those years have remained with me long after my last event. I may not have the same abilities I had once but I am grateful for the time spent running, swimming, biking. No regrets, just appreciation for having taken an opportunity when it came. Now as then, I celebrate the good stuff. More smiles to come.