This time of year is supposed to be about growth, fresh starts, and new beginnings. We count on spring to bring renewed excitement and energy with its warm sunshine and budding trees. This year, we’re experiencing spring with looming anxiety and a lot of uncertainty – not knowing when, or if, we’ll get to experience the joy and excitement of spring that we normally do. 

With all of the uncertainty we’re facing, it’s difficult to make plans for the next day, let alone the next month, or year. How can we think about what we’ll be doing  next fall when we don’t even know how the next week will play out? I get it, trust me. I’m as Type-A and plan-oriented as they come and this pandemic has rattled me, no doubt about it. What’s keeping me motivated, hopeful, and excited for the future is the power I have to keep moving forward while the world stands still.

So how? How do we keep moving forward? How do we stay motivated and excited about the future? We say, “yes” to hard things. We say yes to staying at home, so that our world can heal. We say yes to making the most of our work from home situations, so that the businesses that can operate operate well. We say yes to trying new types of workouts, so that we stay fit and healthy. We say yes when our human inclination is to say no, to stop moving, to give into the fear and uncertainty and just wait for things to get better. We say yes to focusing on what we can do instead of what we can’t do. When we say yes, we make progress when progress seems impossible.

I’m saying yes to the Des Moines half marathon because it’s a hard thing to do. It’s hard to run 13.1 miles. It’s hard to make a commitment to train regularly. It’s hard to think about October 18 with everything going on. I’m saying yes to registering for this race because I can. I’m saying yes to getting outside and going for my training runs because I can. I’m saying yes despite all the uncertainty in the world right now, because when all of this is over, and I cross that finish line in October stronger and better than I am now, I can look back at this time and know it was every hard yes that got me there. 

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