I like shimmery things, what girl, or cat, doesn’t? Whether worn on your finger, ear, or neck, there’s something about a little sparkle, it makes you feel special. This is probably why I love my half marathon medals, each a bright, shiny souvenir of my accomplishments. I’ve noticed these badges have become more intricate, detailed, and larger. Racers want to know what the award for finishing looks like and some won’t sign up unless they like it. Don’t get me wrong, I know there are those who couldn't care less about it, and I envy them, doing it simply for the love of running. This got me thinking, would we train as hard toward our goal if it came without a ribbon, swag, and fanfare? If we only received a pat on the back and a “Great job!” would it be enough? I had to ask myself, what is the true prize I get from doing races?
This was hard to answer, because let’s be honest, sometimes running sucks. The “runners high” everyone talks about I’ve briefly encountered, mainly since it’s overshadowed by losing toenails. Gross, but this is real talk, people. However, I still lace up, train, sweat, and push myself to finish long distance runs. The return I get is somewhat complex, as it’s a tug and pull, a mixture of challenge and accomplishment. This blend is a motivational cocktail and constantly keeps me thirsty. While the pretty trinkets I get at the finish line are nice, they do not encompass the entire experience. However, they are a visible representation of the long hours, steps, and miles I took to get it. Maybe I am chasing the medals, but not for their size or bling. I am reaching towards them because they symbolize not only the distance I have run, but how far I have come.
Inspire. Motivate. Move