David Freeze ‘Gotta Run:’ Why the ‘wow’ moments matter now

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 28, 2020

Finding a “wow” moment is pretty simple, self-explanatory and always memorable.

Somehow during my life, I have become addicted to those events and more appreciative of them.  Often, they are very small things, yet sometimes huge and involved. But I count each “wow” moment as a huge blessing.

As a long time athlete, I am very tired of virtual anything but especially running events. One of my clients told me the other day that she had just received notice that the October Marine Corps Marathon in Washington had gone virtual, meaning that no actual race would be run. The participants who had already paid a huge fee for entry were told to run the distance anywhere and anytime and they would get a medal and shirt. About the same time, the New York City Marathon was canceled, not made virtual but done for the year. The Boston Marathon had already gone virtual after a postponement from the original starting date in April. Only New York gave the option to transfer entry into any of the next three year’s events coming up. Maybe then, something memorable will happen.

Having been around this running game and life in general for a long time, I am tired of another word: “experts.” During the virus, there have been so many experts with wild claims all across the board, leaving me unsure of what to believe and just what it takes to be considered “expert.” I’ve not seen a one who even suggests that those most susceptible to the virus should think about getting in better physical shape. Doing so starts with just the first day of exercise and a better diet, boosting more enjoyable times for the remaining days we have on earth.

While this boost could take various forms, why not work to increase cardiovascular health, claimed by most “experts” as the best weapon besides youth for quickly surviving the virus.

I often laugh with other older runners, the grizzled veterans, about what we’ve learned along the way in our life’s journey, the only one we’ll get. I’m writing this on Friday morning for Sunday’s Post and several events prompted my subject matter. Sunrises and sunsets are often “wow” moments and from one beautiful spot on my farm, there have been some spectacular ones this last week.

One runner that I often see before the sunrise said today, “At least we’ve had plenty of beautiful sunrises lately!” To which I replied, “And sunsets too!”

Sunsets really mean that another day of our lives is about to end, and I always question whether I made it a good one, a day that counted for something.

Another runner expressed some indecision about whether to run the Shiloh Mission 5K that was held Saturday or to work. Having had more than my share of “wow” moments, I explained what I meant by the term. Sometimes just getting the opportunity takes effort, such as Salisbury policeman Isaac Miller who ran his first 5K after losing nearly 50 pounds following a heart attack.

He’ll never forget that day and his own “wow” moment.

Lasting “wow” moments have included spectacular fireworks seen from a boat at Disney World, a thrilling nighttime meteor show seen from the backyard of a friend, and a few of the races I’ve won or even participated in, yet there’s been nothing better than the birth of my first granddaughter.

Make things happen or be there when they do! Just go out and actively participate instead of waiting on the next round of gloom and doom from the news.

I’ve found myself cynical about the virus. I can only encourage an effort at better health. And a request to seek your own “wow” moments. With so many events and normal practices on hold or not happening at all, I’m searching for more of them myself.

That bike ride in Hawaii and the completion of my 50th state seems so long ago, having just ended in March.

I’m going somewhere again soon if for no other reason to meet good, down to earth Americans and therefore complete more “wow” moments.

I’m ready!

Look for upcoming events at www.salisburyrowanrunners.org .     

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