I was late getting to the race, because of my study. Running from practicing a conference presentation about technology-facilitated sex trafficking, to running a race to raise money and awareness to prevent sex trafficking. My life is busy, and my world is large, but I decided a long time ago that I wouldn’t live an easy, comfortable, mundane existence, but that I would live on purpose and with purpose, making the hard choices. Sometimes that means driving through rush hour traffic and scrambling for a parking spot and rushing to get changed (accidentally walking in on mostly naked men) when all you really want to be doing is driving in the other direction, towards home and rest (who am I kidding? Towards wine, pjs and chocolate!).
I was a bit frazzled reaching the start line, but I reset my focus. A glorious evening, the race is a dance around the Pentyrch hill: down and up and around and down, around again and then back up before a final down! I found myself so distracted by the beautiful view, vowing I’d come back here again for a run. The sun was setting over the city, the water glistening in the distance, boundless blue sky and rolling hills in the opposite direction.
From about the halfway point, I could see a friend and fellow harrier ahead of me. She is much faster than me, but I’ve perhaps run more races off-road. I thought, if I can just keep her in sight, perhaps I can catch her towards the home stretch on the downhill. No chance – she was far too quick for me. But it gave me a focus to keep pushing myself to my limits.
As I was running, I troubled over my research, and mentally practiced my presentation for the next day. I was somewhat nervous. Not about presenting, but just because I felt I hadn’t put as much time into preparing as I’d wanted to, with other deadlines looming. Like most people, I really care about what I do, and to do anything halfheartedly goes against my code – whether that’s running, study, work or whatever. I often fall short of where I’d like to be, but I Don’t count it failure when I know I’ve tried my best.
P. S. The research conference went well. I even won an award!
ICYMI, I’m doing 30 challenge races to celebrate my 30th birthday, raising awareness of sex trafficking & fundraising to support the incredible work of A21. Would love your support!
P. P. S. Thank you to Paul Dodd for the photos.