Wednesday was the first day of the 2010 Region track meet. I can't seem to figure out why they held it at West Lake. Maybe they were thinking it would be nice because the track is new. Whatever their reasoning was, it was obviously lacking. Because they somehow missed that it is so windy there that the flag ends are ripping--and the school is brand new this year. Quite obviously, athletes would not be hitting their end-of-year-PR's at Region this year. Watching people running on the back stretch was like watching the part in Kung Fu Panda where Tai Lung tries to hit Po with his Nerve Attack--moving in slow motion. It was so crazy. In fact, the wind was so strong that everyone's times were slowed down by about 25 seconds in the mile. But something happened at this race that was different from others I've run.
In a normal race, the runners start to spread out from the beginning. It eventually becomes more of a trail of runners going around the track than the "pack" they started out in, filtering from one big pack to a few smaller ones with a few individual runners scattered in between. But in this race, everyone stayed together. There was one big pack that contained nearly every member of the heat. Everyone was sticking with the person next to and in front of them to draft off of each other, to pull from each other, and make it just a little easier to face the wind pushing them back. For the first lap I was right with that pack, and all I had to do was jog behind them while they battled it out with the wind. On the second lap I was just a little behind, but I was able to pick it up and pull from them again. By the third lap they were too far away, and I had to face the wind alone. It was hard. There was a sense of strength that came with the pack, and once I lost the pack I lost the strength they brought.
People can have a tremendous impact on our lives. Those in the pack surrounding us have the most influence. Some may jostle us around as we run, making it a little more difficult. Others will be just ahead of us, making our race through life just a little easier. Others still, draw from what we put out. With each footstep, we draw something from those around us. With each footstep, those nearby are drawing from us.
Each of us have a decision to make. We must choose what we will take from those around us, and we must decide what we will put out for others. If someone is going to have a tremendous impact on your life, you will want to be in charge of what that impact is. Take only the best. If you are going to have a tremendous impact on another's life, you will want it to be of worth. Give only the best. Strive in all you do to make the impacts in your live, both given and received, only the best.