Friday Focus: One Year Older and Still in the Race!

Age is nothing but a number.

Well, in fact, it’s much more than that: it’s a blessing.

Everyday, someone wakes up and, based on the day on the calendar, they are one year older than the day before. Just like that. Bam!

My “one year older” wake-up was earlier this week. Just like that…

… I was, at 56, over the speed limit!

… inputing another number on the stationary bicycle and elliptical machines!

… closer to 60 than 50!

Some folks are hit hard by their “one year older” wake-up. They look back and lament lost years and failed opportunities. They look ahead and they see less runway–less time to achieve dreams, to laugh, love, and just live.

And they hurt! Our bodies change with each passing day and that “one year older” wake-up only amplifies the creeping aches and soreness, or the expanding midsections that just won’t seem to shrink.

On Monday, I woke up and smiled. Even as I did my daily assessment of what parts of my body ached most from the prior day’s workout, I smiled, in the dark as I sat on the edge of my bed.

And as I do each day, I thanked God for yet another chance–another chance to be in the race. Another chance to get it right.

I’m thankful because, of course, nothing is promised. Just a month ago, I lost a dear vibrant, giving friend, who succumbed to cancer at just 50. And last week, another friend shared the loss of an icon in her community–someone whose life of faith, family, community and accomplishment served as an example to many of how to get it right.

The race is not a competition. Many of us spend too much time trying to out gain others, to win what they have. It’s easy to fall into that lane, especially when you’ve stumbled (or been tripped!), when you’ve lost your way, or when you’ve seen others gain the trophies you covet: the hot job, the loving partner, the bangin’ car, and on and on.

One of the things age has allowed me to learn is that my race is my race.

I’m not running against you, or anyone.

I’m running to do what I can do, what can achieve.

And I love that race. It’s what gets me to the computer each morning. It’s what fuels my creativity and motivates me to keep striding. No matter what.

It’s what’s lifted me in down times, and allowed me to find another gear when I begin to see the fruits of my efforts.

With my latest “one year older” wake-up behind me, I’m running.

Despite the new aches, I’m running.

Despite the frustrations, I’m running.

And no matter how long it takes to reach the rewards, I’m running.

If it’s your birthday today, Happy “one year older” wake-up!

And if it’s not, you keep running, too.

You’re still in the race.

Challenge yourself!

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