The email arrived and I smiled – broadly.
“Welcome to the 2020 Blue Cross Broad Street Run, you are in the race.”
I’m not a strong runner; I’m slow and I’ve never quite gotten my breathing right. But I love the act of running — the mental clarity and physical accomplishment that comes with a run.
I’ve done my share of 5Ks, trail runs and workouts on the treadmills at the North Penn YMCA, but I’ve never run 10 miles all in a row. Still, I was drawn to the idea of doing the Broad Street Run on May 3 – two months before my 50th birthday. It’s a Philadelphia tradition and a physical goal, and I was excited to add BSR to my “I did it!” list.
Like so many other traditions, events and celebrations planned for the next several months, the Broad Street Run has been postponed. I won’t accomplish this before I turn 50, as I had planned. There are many things that you and I had planned that now won’t be realized in the timeline we had expected.
Staying healthy and keeping our families healthy is now the only goal that seems to matter.
Letting go of our plans and adjusting our minds to a different reality is not easy. I’m struggling with it, even as I know that my disappointments and losses are insignificant in the grand scheme of things.
One night last week, I turned on CNN to get the latest pandemic news. Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta were interviewing US Olympic Gold Medalist Katie Ledecky and speaking with her about the postponement of the 2020 Summer Olympics.
How does she stay focused and motivated in light of the disappointment, Cooper asked.
“My goals aren’t changing,” Ledecky replied. “I still have goals that I want to achieve; goals that I was hoping to achieve this summer. But I’m perfectly fine with putting those on the backburner for next year and staying committed to those goals. Goal setting has been crucial for me.”
Her words spoke to me in such a deeply relatable way. My goals have not changed – I still want to run Broad Street and I want to accomplish other physical and life aspirations. But I want health and happiness for myself, my family, my friends and my community even more. So, I will wait and prepare for all of it in the best ways that I can under the circumstances as they are.
I may be home and distanced, but I am still in the race.