I headed into Atlanta on Monday to pickup my race bib for the AJC Peachtree Road Race. They moved the Expo in the Georgia World Congress Center this year, which is much larger than the space that they used to use at the Merchandise Mart. When I was younger, I saw countless concerts at the Omni (demolished years ago) and used to be very familiar with this area. Now, not so much. Of course, being a guy, I didn’t actually ask for directions while I wandered around a couple of blocks, but, eventually, I found a map and put myself on the right track.
After I checked in and got my number (kudos to the Atlanta Track Club-with 60,000 entrants running this race, it took all of about 30 seconds to retrieve my number), I took a quick stroll around the Expo, mostly looking for freebies and samples.
I passed the Volkswagen tent where Dean Karnazes was signing autographs. I didn’t see Dean, but I did see the 50 or more people in line to meet him. No time for that, so I moved on.
Around the corner, I came upon the Runner’s World table, setup to sell entries into their Half Marathon. Sitting on the table, ankles crossed, just “hanging out”, was The Mayor of Running, Bart Yasso. I was excited to meet and speak with him. I have followed his exploits and adventures in Runner’s World, as well as following him on Twitter for the last year of so. He was a great guy. Very personable. Like talking to an old friend that you haven’t seen for a while.
Anyway, I bought his book and had him autograph it and headed out the door.
Being without something to read at the time, I cracked open Bart’s book, My Life on the Run, and started reading. I must say, if the entire books is as engaging as the first few pages, I can’t wait to finish it.
On page 7, he writes about one of his trips to Mount Kilimanjaro where he was essentially serving as a guide to a first-timer. He describes being 25 miles from the summit, at the base of the mountain, but being unable to see the top because it is shrouded in fog. A mystery. But he says “I already knew the secret: The reward is completing the climb, not the fleeting view of the panoramic landscape below.”
Personally, I spend entirely too much time looking ahead at the goal, where I am trying to get to, what I am trying to accomplish. I almost overlook the journey, or just take it for granted. I focus too much on how it’s going to be when I get there, never realizing that the real reward is the effort that I put forth every day to get to the goal.
I could go on, but suffice it to say….
1. I am glad I got lost.
2. I am glad Bart was sitting on the table.
3. I am glad sooo many people were preoccupied with Dean.
4. I am glad that Bart shared the secret.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
I am actually finishing this post after finishing the Peachtree today. Much more to come on the race and my results.
I hope everyone had a great 4th of July!