My oldest daughter has discovered a few shows she likes on the internet. If it’s a game show or a show where they build houses for poor people, she is there. One of her favorites is “Million Dollar Drop”. The contestants, husband and wife, start off with a million dollars. There are given questions with multiple choice answers. They can place the money on one or more answers, but not all. Whatever money is placed on a wrong answer drops away. They get to keep any money left over after the tenth question.
I am not a big New Years guy. As a teacher, my school year starts in September. Rosh Hashana falls out at that time of year as well. Still, with 2010 coming to a close, I find myself reflecting on my year as a runner.
I had big plans for the year. This was going to be the year I qualified for Boston, in the fall if not the spring. Then life happened, or the end of life, in my mother’s case. Running a race was hardly on my mind during shiva (the week of mourning). I almost didn’t run at all. When I did, I came up short, by over ten minutes. Still, I had another chance in the fall in New York.
Then I hurt my knee. I didn’t think I would get to run at all. It was a blessing that my injury gave me enough time to get ready. Just barely though. For me NYC was a fun run, not a race.
Every time money falls away on “Million Dollar Drop”, the contestants seem devastated. The host reminds them to keep things in perspective. While it is true that money has dropped away, there is a lot left for them to win. Perfection is gone, victory is not. $120,000 is not a million, but it is far from zero.
I didn’t qualify for Boston this year. I can’t deny that I am disappointed. Still my running year was not a waste. I stayed thin. I ran two marathons. I got faster. I raised thousands of dollars for kids who have cancer. I made new friends. I helped get a great organization off the ground. I crossed the finish line with my wife in her first major race. I ran with my kids. I ran with my brother in Israel. My sister started running.
I didn’t qualify for Boston. Still, the year was far from a waste. Bring on 2011.
PLEASE donate in my mom’s memory to help children with cancer:
I have started a blog. Pass It On! http://middleofthepackrabbi.blogspot.com