Did you see and hear Amanda Gorman recite her poem?
What do you do when you hear something inspiring? On this occasion, for me, it triggered a time of reflection.
At the top of my list; I felt grateful to be healthy. I was also thinking how fortunate I was to be able to run in 2020.
I understand that some of you were not and are still not able to run freely outdoors. In my city, we are fairly spread out and our bike paths remained open.
Prior to last year, I had never thought about not being able to run because of social movement constraints. Occasionally, I pass someone older than me on the running path and wonder how long I will be able to run and remind myself not to take it for granted. But I never thought about that enjoyment being subject to curtail because of a pandemic.
These times also remind me of my grandparents. I was lucky enough to live close to them while growing up and for a few years even live with them on our family farm when I first graduated from college. They were 17 when the Great Depression hit. Living through that experience had a lasting impact on their lives and generation.
What will be the lasting effects of the pandemic on us? Many lost loved ones and grieve. Many of us feel more stress. The long-term trauma for medical staff will surface soon. So many are trying to survive having their livelihoods shattered or nearly so.
What are we going to value more coming out of all this? What will we not take for granted? What will be our role in helping others and ourselves recover?
JogAlong’s mission, to help families enjoy the outdoors together, remains unchanged. It is an inspiring mission for all of us, but now takes on more meaning.
The bounds we have been living under will eventually go away and I believe one of the things we will value more is spending time outside.
So many of us rely on the outdoors to clear the workday from our heads, spend time with our children or find our flow. Those experiences are where we feel we can make an impact. It is a chance for us to help parents and children reconnect or connect for the first time to the outdoors.
From the business standpoint, last year was a rough one for JogAlong. Our timeline has been severely affected by not being able to travel, disruptions to our suppliers, and a budget that has been stretched to the max.
We are not giving up, and are working on how to recover and jump start our plans. If you are interested to know more about the business side of JogAlong, or have some ideas to help, please, send me a note.
Even before Ms. Gorman started to speak, what struck me was the yellow of her coat set against the blue of the carpet-draped stairs she descended. Luminous yellow, a color of optimism, sunshine, and a coming spring.
We all have a lot of work to do, “And yet the dawn is ours.”
p.s. The photo above is my niece before the start of a 5k race in Colorado, from a couple of years ago (in an older prototype). It was early. There is another picture of her barely able to keep her eyes open as we were lining up. But in the days before, she was so excited. So come race day, there were no arguments about the sunrise start. We all have such a good memory of that day! Let’s all work on making more.