The Flip Side of Disappointment

I just opened Facebook to see the top post in my feed from a friend in Memphis saying that the St Jude Marathon in Memphis is canceled due to bad weather. My heart sank. The St Jude marathon is the race I did last year and had such a profound experience with my Dad showing up repeatedly along the route in spite of being weakened by cancer, and with about a month to live.

For a moment I imagined being on the cusp of my race a year ago and having it canceled. How deeply disappointed I would have been if I couldn’t have that experience myself and with my dad. As I was thinking about that, I clicked on the notice from the race organizers and started to read the comments from runners (there were 500 comments within minutes).

There was disappointment, and some frustration, but far more comments sounded like these…

Heartbroken, but I will run in my neighborhood instead tomorrow morning! 

Very sad…. but honored to have been able to raise $1000 for the kids of St. Jude and happy to donate our entry fees. We’ll be back next year!

I say we meet around 9AM (let it warm up a bit? ha ha) Union and 3rd and follow the route to the campus and then make our way back. Who is in!?!?!

Let’s not forget WHY we are running… I like the idea of meeting at the St Jude campus! Let’s run through it for the kids! Show them we are here!

So sorry for your disappointment, runners, but as a St Jude dad, I am so grateful to all you Heroes for your fund raising work and all the love you’ve shown to the St Jude kids

I’m disappointed but my goal was to raise money for St. Jude. The weather can’t touch that. See you next year. I LOVE ST. JUDE!!!  

Reading these comments, I got swells of emotions I felt running in that passionate pack of charitably-minded runners last year. But I also remembered something I say to myself and people I coach whenever we race. You can’t control what happens on race day. What you can control is how well you train and prepare for it and how you respond to the day’s events.

When it comes down to it, we take what the day gives us and we’re happy we get to have experience leading up to it.

My heart, respect and appreciation are with you St Jude families, caregivers, Memphis cheerers, race organizers, and runners.