Monday, December 11, 2006

Reindeer lessons

No run today, but I failed to mention that yesterday I surpassed 1100 miles for the year. I did not realize that until I updated my training log. That is roughly the equivalent of running from Minneapolis to Atlanta! I am hoping that the distance I have put in this year will serve as a great base for heading into the New Year.

Somewhat off topic, I watched the Christmas classic, "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer", on Friday night. In an age where animation has become so computer-generated and technologically advanced, this old "clay-mation" show is timeless and wonderful, and in so many ways superior to the new stuff. As the old saying goes, "They don't make 'em like they used to."

Rudolph's story is really an inspiring one, too. I can't imagine I will be spoiling this for anybody (we've all seen the show, right?), but as we all know, every little reindeer's dream is to one day be part of the team that leads Santa's sleigh. Rudolph, born with a shiny red nose, was deemed as a "misfit" and was ostracized by the other reindeer because he was different.

Dejected, he sets off on his own to find where he belongs. Rudolph encounters several other "misfits" along the way, such as Hermie (the elf who wants to be a dentist), and the toys on the Island of Misfit Toys. Each of them have their own dreams and aspirations.

Through persistence, perseverance, and overcoming many obstacles (including outwitting the dreaded "Bumble," as Yukon Cornelius puts it!), Rudolph, Hermie, and the toys all achieved their goals. Not only that, but Rudolph proved to be the most valuable reindeer of all, because his unique gift helped to light the way and guide Santa's sleigh through a fierce storm!

To tie this back to running, Dean Karnazes had this insightful quote in his blog when talking about the statue called "The Awakening" in Washington, D.C.:

"It is so easy to live a life that has been scripted for you by others, to fall into the mire of conformity by following a path that others deem appropriate, rather than heeding your own unique calling."

Rudolph teaches us that we should not be held back by anyone or anything, and the only person who should be in charge of your future is you.

Find your gift, dream big, and never settle; I will try to remember these reindeer lessons as I work towards my goals in 2007! :)

Until next time,

Jean
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