5 Ways for Runners to Dare Greatly
Updated: Jan 31, 2019
Thinking about going for it in 2019? You should!
January may be over, but it's not too late for 2019 resolutions. This year I'm challenging myself to "Dare Greatly" – to not hold myself back from pursuing goals and dreams, even if I'm afraid I might fail. That's stopped me so many times in the past. How about you?
The words come from a stirring speech given by Theodore Roosevelt in Paris in 1910. You can read the full quote here, but it's the part at the end that I love best. Roosevelt is talking about a man (let's gender-neutralize in our minds) who dares to take a chance:
"... who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while DARING GREATLY, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."
Now that's a lesson I want to embrace – not just for myself, but also to teach my daughter as she approaches high school graduation and beyond. Because who wants to be a "cold and timid soul," knowing neither victory nor defeat? Not you! Get out there and go for it!
Relish the adventure without feeling tied to the outcome. What's to fear? There are only two possibilities – you'll either "succeed" or "fail", which are BOTH better than the sad alternative, "miss out on all the rich and incredible experiences that make life amazing."
Runners are generally hardy souls, not cold and timid. I'm assuming you agree with old Teddy. So if you're ready to go for a run outside your comfort zone, here are...
5 ways you can Dare Greatly as a runner in 2019:
1. Run your first 5K. Have you been chugging along by your lonesome, waiting for the "right race" to make your 5K debut? Well then, wait no more... they're all great! Your running community is eager to meet you. Race days are awesome, full of warm and welcoming energy, lively atmosphere and of course free bagels. How can you say no to that?
2. Run your first trail race. Maybe you've been hearing the call of the wild, but you aren't sure if you're ready to answer. Reality check – you are! Trail races in Connecticut can show you sights you've never seen, some of the most beautiful forests and mountains in our state.
3. Power up to the next level. Is your drawer full of 5K medals? Maybe it's time to register for a 10K. Then a half marathon. Then a full. Those bigger numbers – 13.1, 26.2, even 50 miles and onward – may seem daunting, but with the right training, they are absolutely achievable. If it's been your dream to run the big one, Theodore Roosevelt dares you to do this one. Runner's World has some good training plans to help.
4. Volunteer for a running charity. Many great organizations like Achilles Connecticut need you as a running guide for wheelchair and visually impaired athletes. Yes, it takes a little courage to put yourself out there, but you'll be giving an incredible gift as you help athletes of all abilities participate in mainstream races and experience the joy of competition.
4a. Or volunteer at a race! If you've never experienced race day from the other side, volunteering is a fun way to enjoy all the super energy without, y'know, actually having to race. Contact your local race organization to see how you can help. You'll feel good giving back to the sport you love, and you will make a race director oh so happy.
5. Run a new 5K. Okay, this is a shameless plug, but it's legit all the same. You could play it sort of safe and run one of the many 5Ks around Connecticut on May 5th, maybe ones you've run before... but in the spirit of Daring Greatly in 2019, the 5 Tribe™ 5K is a unique and original race for experienced runners, new runners, road runners and trail runners who want to try something new. So maybe check it out, and let's get a little crazy this year :)
Good luck with everything on your "dare list"!