I was at the mall shopping for a new pair of shoes for my son Paul and the salesman said he really liked my shirt. I was wearing my "Bright As The Sun Orange" RunJunkEes shirt that says "The Journey is the Reward" on the back. He said he always spends so much time worrying about the end result, of whatever it is he's trying to accomplish, that he misses the fun of getting there. I told him that I am a RunJunkEe, an avid runner, and that for every finish line I have ever crossed and every medal ever hung around my neck the real rewards had always been found in the training leading up to that moment. The money raised for the cause, the friends met along the way, the stories learned of others and their reason for being there, and the many moments of zen and clarity found while running - the rewards were always received long before hitting the finish line timing mat. And he said "And so it shall be with life. I will look for the rewards on my journey." I bought Paul a nice new pair of Vans and we left the store.
The Journey is the Reward is by far my favorite mantra for this thing I do called running. Everything about my life has been enriched by running. I am fitter and healthier than ever before in life. I find myself surrounded by amazing people weekly at social runs, while training with TEAM in Training, and at races. My Facebook newsfeed is filled with positive and uplifting people daily. I've learned to Embrace My Joy on a daily basis. It is pretty amazing how this journey has rewarded me on an almost daily basis. Believe me, if this weren't true, I would've never run more than that first half marathon I set out to accomplish to raise money in memory of my nephew Mavrick.
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