President's Column - January 2024

Jennifer Hay, Vice President

Jerry did a great job of succinctly summing up the past year of our club in his President’s Letter last month, and now we get a chance to look forward, to decide where our club is headed, who we want to be as a community. I’m the newbie here, so it’s easier for me to move forward without spending too much time looking back or being nostalgic about how things have always been, but it’s so important to take a moment to realize the huge significance of some of our race directors retiring this year from races they have directed for many many years. We have a lot of big positions to fill. We have a few options for how we’re going to handle this: (1) The same people doing everything else can step in as a committee and keep these races going, (2) we can find members who are willing to take on a new challenge, or (3) we can quit hosting some of our races, leaving a void for private companies to come in and host them (or not). My first choice is definitely option two, but if we can’t find those people, I’m for option three. We just can’t ask the same people to take on more. And although I hate the idea of letting go of races and the income that funds trail improvements, free youth programs, school running programs and equipment…, at some point, that may become a reality. That sounds threatening doesn’t it? It’s just a little overwhelming to fill director positions for the Marathon, Miller Landing Madness, Palace Saloon, the Summer Track series, and Breakfast on the Track with a couple more on their heels. It’s hard not to fear the dominoes that will fall if we don’t have members willing to support and grow our local running community at the level we’ve all come to take for granted. But ringing in a new year always offers hope of great things to come and opportunities for growth. And I love making resolutions—writing out plans for all the new hopes and habits for being healthier and happier. I make them every January for the new year and every August for my birthday, the first of every month, and often on a Monday in the middle of the month. You get the idea: great at crafting resolutions, not so great at sticking with them. (Don’t hold it against me.) But recently, I had a lightbulb moment when I pieced together some advice from dietician Ilana Muhlstein and my son Hawthorne’s life coach: (1) “Quit starting over.” You didn’t fall off the wagon; you don’t have to get back on. It’s not a setback. You didn’t cheat on your eating or workout plan. It was a treat. Enjoy it. Keep going. The phrasing is important, y’all. You never stopped on the journey. You haven’t failed in your mission. Which is where the life coach’s words resonated: (2) “You hit a speed bump, not a wall.” As you consider resolutions for your new year (and we consider plans for the Club), remember the words of these wise women. You’re always headed toward the finish line. You may take some wrong turns here and there, hit a few speedbumps, get lost all together for a day or week or two, but the course is still there. You’re still making progress. The finish line hasn’t moved, and you’re working your way toward it. Don’t ever consider going back to the starting line. How crazy would that be?! Use what you’ve learned navigating this far to get you all the way through. The key though, is to have the finish line set. You have to have an end game whether that’s being healthy and mobile enough to play with grandchildren someday or fit enough to run a half marathon or badass enough to complete an Ironman. It can’t be ambiguous. You have to know what you’re working toward. There are a lot of articles about how to set SMART goals and make action plans. Go read them. Follow them. Get stronger, healthier, faster, run longer, but also remember the happier part. Make resolutions that make life more fun. More fulfilling. Resolve to eat every type of fruit in the grocery store. (It’s all about your microbiome, friends!) Make Tuesday taco nights with friends. Foster kittens/ dogs. Start a GWTC running group to make new friends (you can even combine that with Taco Tuesday.) Maintain a bird feeder. Coach Girls on the Run. Cook something out of your league every week. Get creative with a Shalane Flanagan inspired muffin batch once a month. Start a gratitude journal—and do it right before you go to bed to get eight hours of sleep. I know the last one doesn’t actually sound fun, but it will make all the rest of life easier. Just remember we all get to the exact same finish line eventually, and the journeys—especially the last few miles—are much easier if we fulfill the resolutions— get stronger, drink more water, spend more time with the people you love, find more people to love, give back to your community, declutter, and eat your veggies. We need to chart that course for the Club as well. What do you think our goals should be? How would you like to be involved in reaching them? Let me know. I want a text from each of you. Blow up my phone: 850- 294-9395. Wishing you all a healthy, happy, and love filled new year, and in the famous words of my daughter Ainsley’s favorite wise woman: “Make the friendship bracelets. Take the moment and taste it. You’ve got no reason to be afraid

FROM THE PRESIDENT

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