Yelm Double Half

April 6, 2013, in Yelm, Washington. I ran this race with my daughter, Dede. It was a torrential downpour for 90% of the race, and pretty cold. There were about 60 participants between the 5K, 10K, and half marathon. This was a great first day of a two day set of half marathons, but we only did the first one. The course was an out and back, flat one, all on a paved bike path through parks, and wooded areas. The support was great and the participants were enthusiastic. All in all, despite the weather, we had a blast! I felt great, and my ankle didn’t give me too much trouble. We stayed a bit conservative for most of the race, but  turned on the gas in the last mile and finished strong.

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You Matter

I recently started following Brandon Burchard, and am finding his books and podcasts to be a valuable source of inspiration and motivation. He has taught me three questions that I am now asking myself every day. Did I live? Did I love? Did I matter? I find that without some kind of daily self examination, I can drift through life without purpose and intent. My father would frame these questions differently. He would call it “Examining my conscience.” As athletes we might review our daily workout logs, look at our progress charts, do time trials, and check race data. Most everyone has some sort of evaluation system, whether it be personal or professional. Once in a while something happens that causes us to seek deeper meaning from our life experiences.

Tragedy struck this past weekend with the untimely death of someone close to my inner circle. This person fought the demons of depression and addiction for many years. The fight ended for her, but now the impact of her death is rippling through the community of people that knew and loved her. Did she live? Most definitely. Did she love? Yes, she did. Did she matter? Absolutely. So what happened? While we may never know the answer, as I grapple with the aftereffects. I have questions. I feel sadness. I feel anger. I feel compassion. I feel….I don’t know…

I find myself reflecting solidly on the third question: Did I matter? More importantly, I am wondering, did I make you feel like YOU matter? I have always made it a point to try and make someone smile everyday. I can’t remember when I started doing this, but it is a habit that is ingrained in me. Sure, I get some kind of gratification out of it; the recognition that I made someone feel good. But even more so, in these days where negativity rules our world and clogs our social media, our politics, our neighborhoods, and our news sources, I believe it is profoundly important to help people feel valued.

Did I make you feel like you mattered? I sure hope so, because you do matter. A lot.

Everything we do has an impact on the world. It’s been said that we never really appreciate something or someone , until we no longer have it, or them. People aren’t replace-able. EVERYONE has value. That smile you gave a random stranger might have been the only positive thing that happened to them today. When you praised that kid for their off-key flute performance, you might have started them on a life long love of music. When you high five’d the runner as he ran past you at that last race, you might have given them the strength to keep going when they didn’t think they could. When you gave moral support to someone going through a struggle, you might not know that years later, they credit you for keeping them going. That phone call you made to “just check in” with a friend or client might have come at a life saving moment. BE the person that makes those calls. KNOW that what you do in your life matters.

You matter to me. You matter to your friends. You matter to your families. You matter to your teachers. You matter to your co workers. You matter to your neighbors. You matter to your fellow athletes, to your classmates, to your baristas, to your clients, ,your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Linkedin friends and contacts. You matter to your pets, your customers, your church. YOU FREAKING MATTER! Believe it.

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