Celebrating, No Matter The Occasion

It’s been a busy few weeks for myself as it gets to that time of year with lots of family events along with most of our athletes finishing up their fall goal race and begin transitioning to their next phase of training. For some, this is a spring race, for others this is a chance to for them to ‘do the work, so they can do the work’ by investing their time and energy into Base training in anticipation for some big 2023 goals. Additionally I spent my week attending a Road Runners Club of America Level 2 Certification course, which consisted of 19 hours of Zoom time over 2 days, but it was well worth it and I look forward to sharing over the coming weeks some of the things I learnt and applying it into your coaching and training.

All that is to say, this time of year is frantic and it’s easy to get lost in the craziness of it all and miss out of some of the special moments or under-appreciate everything you are accomplishing, day after day. I recently read a post by American distance runner and former US women’s record holder in the marathon, Keira D’Amato, that inspired me. I can’t seem to find the post, but she highlighted her finish line pose and the importance of this pose to her (see below).

As Keira approached the finish line at Houston in January 2022, moments before breaking the US Marathon record in a time of 2:19:12, she raises her hands in the air in celebration. Of course, she had every right to celebrate, it was an incredible performance, so nothing shocking there, but Keira highlighted that this is the pose she uses for every race as she is about to cross the finish line, even the races that go terrible (they happen to us all). Keira’s point? It doesn’t matter what your time is, what place you finished in, or how the race felt for you personally, because every time you run a race, you are doing something amazing and you deserve to celebrate.

It’s easy to take our health and fitness for granted. It’s even easier under appreciate the courage you show by stepping onto the race course in front of hundreds or thousands, of spectators with friends and family closely watching your performance. every single time. It’s also easy to forget that through all the training, you are stronger today than you were yesterday and the many months or years before this when you first started training. When life moves fast we tend to focus on the big things and goals, and miss out on the smaller and perhaps more meaningful things we achieve during that process . I love that Keira does this pose for every race as a reminder to celebrate all that has been accomplished in the process, no matter the outcome and truly value the moment, because we never know when we’ll have these moments again.

Anyway, I decided to give it a go myself at the past CLT Turkey Trot and I have to admit it was really fun. I felt a little daft at first because I don’t usually do anything when I approach the finish line as usually focus on making sure I actually make it to the line not looking like a hot mess. There was no PR that day, or podium finish, but it sure made me feel like a million bucks as I crossed the line with my hands raised in the air in celebration of another opportunity to race and push myself to the limit once again. I think I’ll be keeping this celebration up for future races and I encourage you to do the same too. For now enjoy my D’Amato celebration 😂!

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