Run The Race That You’re In

Run The Race That You're In: A 4th Of July Run

When I was a kid, the 4th of July was one of my favorite holidays. It probably lined right up with Christmas. You wouldn’t think that a kid would be so patriotic as to find this summertime celebration rank right up there with Santa Claus. But it did.

Yeah, I have always been a true American. I love what the holiday represents. Independence Day! Red, White, and Blue! Uncle Sam! The Statue of Liberty!

Happy 4th of July!

Being born and raised in the state of New York may have been one of the reasons for this. Where I grew up, on the north shore of Long Island, our town was considered more of a resort village rather than family community for a good chunk of the year. People would stream in during the summer months and partake in our beaches, boat launches, restaurants, and summer activities. 4th of July in Bayville was a major event, starting early in the day, and continuing through the night. It was a 24 hour party!

Bayville 4th of July Beach Evening

After spending a day on the beach and boat with my extended family on the south side of the island, we feasted on oysters, clams, and the catch of the day before heading to the beach on the north side of the island. It was here we enjoyed the fireworks launched not just by locals, but by professionals on all shores of the Long Island Sound. On a clear night, you can see quite a few shows at once!

Everyone came to Bayville for 4th of July. At least, it seemed that way when I was young. I miss it. I miss everything about it.

As I grew up and eventually left Long Island, 4th of July would never be the same. In fact, my career insisted that I work most holidays. Independence Day would be one of them. It wasn’t until I was married, that it took on yet another characteristic.

These days, now that my children are older, 4th of July has become just another day in the life, as sad as that seems. Last year, I actually decided to run an event, but this year, it was out of our price range to run another. So, instead, I ran my own race. It wasn’t planned. In fact, it wasn’t until I was deep in the run that I realized what I was going to actually do.

It was warm, but breezy, and there was little traffic on the roads. The sun was shining, behind a bit of summer haze. There was nothing planned except a barbeque with friends later in the day. So why not run?

I chose a square loop in my head, one that I’ve run a few times before. I didn’t expect much from myself, except perhaps to finish it without having to call my husband for a lift. And the only reason I might do that was because I didn’t pack enough hydration for a 12 miler. But we’d see what I could do.

Not a glorious run, by any means, but a mind clearing one. A run where I could appreciate my life, and my past 4th of July’s in Bayville. It was a run that reminded me how lucky I was to get to run on such an amazing God given morning, and that I lived in a country where I didn’t have to get permission to do so.

How could I complain?

Afterwards, after I arrived home, stretched and rehydrated, I remembered I had bought some new paracord in patriotic colors, and got to work making myself a new bracelet. I had a few thoughts about what I wished it to say, but in the end, it was this phrase that I chose.

Run The Race That You're In Paracord Charm Bracelet by Charmed Running

It speaks volumes. Every moment, every situation, every conflict…it’s all a race we inevitably face, whether you run or not. Sometimes it’s not about running with the competition. Sometimes it’s about running with our own past as our competition. It’s dredging up a former life that we no longer have the opportunity to live. It is about experiencing a new run, a new race, a new finish line. And it’s about living that life that we’re in, good or bad, happy or sad.

This 4th of July won’t go down as one of the most memorable in my 51 years, but it will go down as the one where I ran my own race.

So, run in the moment. Run with your heart. Run your race.

And run it to the finish.

How was your Independence Day run?

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