“Life is a journey, not a destination.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Life is about the journey not the destination, we’ve all heard that quote in many different forms throughout our lives and there is great truth in that mantra. I live the majority of my life trying to focus on the journey I am taking, but sometimes, yes sometimes, it really is about the destination not the journey. Running my first marathon the Space Coast Marathon in November 2016 was all about The Finish Line, it doesn’t matter how ugly or painful or slow the 26.2 miles were, crossing the finish line was the perfect end result; it was the destination I was seeking. I do wish the 26.2 miles preceding my finish line were a little prettier but the medal and sense of accomplishment are both pretty enough to make me forget the agonies. Likewise, for many others, races are about going places, they are about travelling to a race and crossing the finish line. I am extremely fortune to live in the vacation State of Florida, where many travel just to visit and relax and many travel to run races. Many of those travelling to Florida to runDisney and gain a “magical” experience.
Putting our destination first this past weekend we drove over to Disney to run and met up with friends, some who flew in and some who drove in to run their first ever half marathons. Disney World Race Weekends are huge attractions and often sell out (psst…the Disney Star Wars Dark Side in April 2017 still isn’t sold out – I loved running the inaugural race last year!), they are well oiled organized race management machines and unfortunately on January 6th 2016 they had to do the unthinkable – cancel Saturday’s Half Marathon. The decision to cancel the Half Marathon was made with an abundance of caution for the thousands of runners set to be on the course while sever weather including lightning was scheduled to roll though the area. I cannot fault Disney at all for their decision. However, I can also sympathize with the many disappointed runners – they all missed their destination, they were at Disney but never at the half marathon finish line. Many ran all around Disney despite the cancelled race, my husband included.
The beauty of Florida is there is no shortage of destination races to choose from, even if this past Disney weekend did not work out. If you again focus on the journey you can find yourself in Key West this coming weekend at the 19th annual Key West Half Marathon and 5K or wait a few weeks more and my next half is coming up in The Florida Marathon and ½, 5K and 8K on February 4th & 5th voted “one of America’s top 10 bucket list water front race courses” in Runner’s World. I could go on and on listing races in Florida and while there will be plenty of other races there will never be this weekend’s one cancelled race again. I will go into my next races with a WDW medal that I didn’t earn and a bit of disappointment for not running the race, and even more disappointment for not getting the opportunity to race with faraway friends and share in their first-half marathon experiences. For now, I’m going to put my unearned beautiful Disney medal in a drawer (although I’ve been wearing the shirt around already) and focus on the journey to my next destination – Florida ½ Marathon Finish Line; I set a PR on it last year and I’m looking to do the same again in 2017!
What do you do after a race is cancelled? Where do you hang the unearned medal? Are you focused on the missed destination or the journey to the next race? Where is your next destination race?