Today I learned once more the value of the race shirt. What do I mean by this? Let me clarify.
There are days when I simply feel sluggish right from the get-go. I throw on my running clothes and shoes, head out the front door, start my GPS watch, turn up my Iphone and waddle along toward the Central Park loop to the tunes of AC/DC and the man from Oyster Bay, Long Island. Even though the music is great and the weather may be fine, I just don’t feel like logging my miles. I’m not fired up to get the work done. On these days, I make sure to wear a race shirt that I earned by completing a marathon during my 6.2 mile jaunt.
Tecumseh once wrote “Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, even a stranger, when in a lonely place. Show respect to all people…and grovel to none”. On days where I feel fried, I run my loop while keeping my eyes peeled all along the way in the hopes of delivering and/or receiving something I just refer to as “The Nod”.
The Nod is the simple gesture made by runners passing each other heading in opposite directions, upon noticing that the race shirt worn by one of the runners, in fact, represented an event that both participated in. The runners take notice of the race shirt, and as they get close to passing by one another the silent nod of understand is made. When it does occur – and I know it doesn’t happen nearly often enough – the nod is delivered quickly and could also include a “great shirt” or “great race” uttered by one to the other. The Nod is the acknowledgement from one runner to another which can say:
• I ran the same race as you. It was a great day.
• I ran the same race as you. I know how hard you had to work to finish.
• Wow – you ran that race? Well done. Always wanted to run that one.
• (When you pass a race shirt from a marathon): Hard core.
• (When you pass a Unicorn – a race shirt from the Boston Marathon): Respect.
• (When you pass an ING New York City Marathon race shirt): Badass.
That small nod – that slight homage from a stranger while running in a park – could mean the difference between that runner throwing in the towel early on in his/her practice and calling it day, thereby leaving the park in a horrid mood…or the runner shaking off the sluggishness and having an awesome effort.
So the next time you are out there running and you are about to pass a guy wearing a race shirt, whether it be some local 5k race or the 2012 Western States, give The Nod as the pass is about to occur. Maybe you won’t receive the nod back. Maybe, upon offering up The Nod, the other runner will look at you utterly confused. That’s OK. Be patient – because there will come a time when you offer up The Nod and it is returned as the pass is made. You’ll smile. Maybe you’ll even find a little more juice in your legs that could make all the difference in your day’s performance. Or maybe – just maybe – you both gave each other the recognition you needed to soldier on.
BY setting some pretty challenging goals for myself, I am trying to generate interest in / donations to The Dream Team Project. This charity’s mission is to raise money for the Make-a-Wish Foundation, helping to grant the wishes of children suffering from life-threatening illnesses. Being s former wish-granter for the New York City Chapter of the Make-a-Wish Foundation, I can tell you first-hand just how much of an impact this organization makes in the lives of children.
If you’d like some information on The Dream Team Project or would like to make a donation to their amazing cause, please stop by the website: http://www.wdwradio.com/the-dream-team-project I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I really believe in what The Dream Team Project stands for. Please consider donating to this worthy cause. Thanks!
…and if you’d like a bit more information on the WDW Radio Running Team, please check out the Facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/WDW-Radio-Running-Team/163606410344409
In addition, I am running the 2013 Chicago Marathon in order to raise money to fight cancer. I am running with Team in Training, and if anyone would like any information on this fantastic charity’s work please go to: http://pages.teamintraining.org/nyc/chicago13/jrkolinsky
I am also, once again, running the 2013 ING New York City Marathon in order to raise money to benefit the New York Road Runners Team for Kids (“TFK”). If you’d like to read more about this fantastic charity, please check TFK out at: http://www.runwithtfk.org/Page/About