News & Observations


By Fred Deckert


‘Tis the Season to get mellow! I keep telling myself not to get uptight from the barrage of merchandisers telling me that I and my loved ones deserve their product/s to guarantee our happiness. Little do they know!

What I really need along with some others of the calendar challenged generation, is to loosen up on my expectations. Instead of moaning about my reduced (almost nonexistent) racing abilities, I need to start appreciating what Mother Nature has left me, not what she took away. Time to check how full the cup is, not how empty. My preliminary New Year’s resolutions must include a determination to stop boring folks with old stories about how things used to be. So what if I have to check if anyone is behind me at the local races, think of how happy I make the people that finish ahead of me. Truly, it is more blessed to give than receive, and I’m getting used to giving up those places in the finish order. Give thanks for age groups, not every sport has them, and they do help the self esteem of the aforementioned “Over the Hill Gang”. While we’re on that subject, why do they say “over the hill”? That implies it’s a downhill ride, and it feels a lot more like the hill is upwards and getting steeper all the time.

And, for all you folks who are on a roll and running well, it’s time to drink deeply of the cup and appreciate the flavor. Savor the experiences of the past year and resolve to show full appreciation of all the future good times instead of nit-picking your performances. Pat the guy on the back who has just blown your doors off. Next time he may be changing places with you and you’ll enjoy that attention.

Don’t always look for the fast and easy races, most of our memorable experiences are those where the challenge is extreme. As the poet said, “I took the road less traveled, and that made all the difference”. There is something really exhilarating about succeeding in a task or race that you were not sure you could finish. Conversely looking for the “gut” courses in school or in running leaves you with the vague feeling that you really didn’t accomplish that much, and if you didn’t do really well, it’s a massive downer. Treat yourself to some self-tolerance and some challenge.

EXTRA MILES: Janie Johansen tried her first 10 miler at the Tallahassee 10 mile challenge and got the requisite PR with a 1:39:21 clocking. No pain, she said so we can expect many more in the future.