Take some time along the way

I still have an arts and crafts project that I made in the first grade that is proudly displayed in a room at my parents’ house.  It’s a small rock that is decorated with rainbows and smiley faces with a message that reads, “Take some time along the way to see what’s nice about today.” For some reason that rock has been stuck in my head all weekend. 

On Saturday I completed the Cooper River Bridge Run – a 10K – in 1:13 (gun time) and 1:08 (chip time).  A few years ago I would have been pretty upset with this time.  For years when I ran races I was only concerned about getting the best possible time.  I’m not really competitive with other people; just myself.  So, for the first dozen or so races I’ve ever run, I can only remember my time.  I can’t remember what the weather was like or who was there to support me and cheer me on.  I can’t remember anything except for the stupid time, because that is what was most important to me!

So this weekend was very different for me.  I ran it with a few of my girlfriends and I just decided to not try to kill myself to get a good time.  I just wanted to appreciate the whole experience from start to finish.  I enjoyed walking to the start line, getting my coffee, people watching with my friends and I actually enjoyed the entire race up and over the bridge.  There were people dressed in funny costumes – from a runaway bride to an astronaut.  I chatted with other runners at the finish line and ate bagels and apples, listened to the band that was playing and I just truly enjoyed the entire experience.  Before, I probably wouldn’t even have glanced at the river while running over the bridge!  But this time I noticed a parasailer and boats that were all stationed in the water so they could watch 40,000 people run over it together.

So maybe I’m a little older and slower, but this weekend was so perfect in every way.  The weather held out, the food was great and I got to enjoy Charleston without being consumed with a perfect race time.  I guess it really is a good idea to take your time and enjoy the whole journey sometimes, rather than just trying to make it to the finish line. 

I need to apply this to my professional life, too.  I want to enjoy the whole APR designation experience, appreciate all aspects of my small business, share experiences with others and not just worry about completing things on my to do list without recognizing all the small fun stuff along the way.

Do you ever take time along the way to stop an appreciate your journey?  Tell us about it!

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