If you’re a big fan of the movie Forrest Gump, you’re probably familiar with his quotes. One of the more famous quotes that has been going through my head recently as I finish training for my next race is, “Life [is] like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”
Every time I lace up my shoes to head out for a run I think to myself, “How will this run go?”. Will it be like my favorite chocolate (marshmallow or peanut butter filled-yum!) where everything feels great? The weather is perfect, your legs feel fantastic and you are enjoying life! But if you aren’t a professional runner (and even they have bad days) that doesn’t always happen.
But that’s ok, there are still other flavors in that box to enjoy! They might not taste as good as your favorite but they are still chocolate! Even if you get that dreaded flavor (coconut anyone?) you still are out there doing what so many others can’t. Be grateful for your health and enjoy every moment of that gift.
It doesn’t just have to be running either. You could be hiking up a mountain on a beautiful trail, climbing up a hill on your bike, or even taking a walk around your neighborhood. The key is to embrace the JOY in whatever you are doing- even if it isn’t the most positive experience at the time.
I have learned some hard lessons in my journey in life and with running. Back in 2018, I was training for my first 100 mile race. I trained hard the whole year with one purpose in mind- finishing that race. But things didn’t go as planned and I missed a time cut-off. I ended up being pulled from the course short of my goal. I was very disappointed, but I was able to use the lessons I learned to make my second attempt at the 100 mile distance this year. This time around, I crossed that finish line and earned my buckle! I don’t think I would have had the same determination or knowledge if it wasn’t for my first attempt.
So like that coconut chocolate, I try to find the good parts, even if the outcome wasn’t always what I wanted. Those not so great experiences taught me lessons that I have used later in other events. Lessons that I might not have learned unless I went through that disappointment.
So get out there and embrace your journey! You never know what you are going to get, and that is what makes life so great.
About the author: Linda is a mom of two and the Community Outreach Manager at AppRunCo – Carlisle. Running is her passion – In the 10 years since she started running, she has completed races of various distances from one mile to ultras. You can catch her on the trail on Saturday mornings where she is the smiling face leading our group trail runs!