I’ve had the privilege of witnessing (albeit not in person, but on TV) the 3,000th hit of numerous MLB players. Perhaps the most fun to watch was that of hometown hero Paul Molitor, who achieved this milestone in a Minnesota Twins uniform 11 days after my birthday in 1996. It’s great to see a hometown kid make good, and all the more meaningful now that he has taken the helm as the Twins’ new skipper. Moments like this, or Cal Ripken Jr.’s consecutive game mark, or the most recent marathon world record all have significance beyond their particular place in time. They serve as anchors in history, opportunities to create individual memories.
On a smaller scale, each of us is constantly creating and contextualizing these moments, and chasing these memories. Our lives are filled with a plethora of milestones, some big, and some small, but all meaningful. They all help tell our story. Five years ago, I could barely run a 5K, and the thought of running a marathon was about as realistic in my mind as my boyhood dreams of space flight. Over the years, a lot has changed and my love of running has only grown over the years as I’ve taken on new challenged and sought out new experiences. Running, for me, is about memories. The accomplishment doesn’t come with a medal or a buckle (don’t get me wrong…I earned those buckles!), but with the opportunity to look back on those moments and smile.
While I’m smiling on those past moments, I’m always looking forward and out towards new goals and new opportunities. This past year, I’ve logged my fair share of miles, and the numbers just kept adding up. When I surpassed 2,000 miles earlier this year and I was still tackling the heat of summer, it occurred to me that I had a shot at hitting 3,000 miles this year. This number seemed somewhat unimaginable even a year or two ago, but I’ve continued to do what I love and pursue my goals. By this time tomorrow, my Garmin will have logged over 3,000 miles for the year and I’ll still be running. I may just have a bigger smile on my face, however.
I don’t share this to brag, or to assert that I’m somehow special. I’m fully aware that many others hit this mark, and many log far more miles in any given year. I’m also aware that ultimately, that higher number really only means I’ve spent a lot of time in a pair of running shoes. However, at the end of the day, my hope is that it is a memorable anchor in my running history, and yet another piece of evidence to demonstrate my love of the sport!