The geek in me couldn’t help but share a quick history lesson before diving into today’s lesson learned.
The legal separation of the Thirteen Colonies from Great Britain occurred on July 2, 1776, when, in the midst of the American Revolution, the Second Continental Congress voted to approve a resolution of independence. After further debate and revisions, Congress finally approved the Declaration on July 4th. Although Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin later wrote that they had signed the Declaration on that day, most historians believe that the Declaration actually was signed nearly one month later, on August 2, 1776. And, despite the Declaration, the American Revolution did not end until an American victory in October 1781, followed by British abandonment of any claims to the United States with the Treaty of Paris in 1783.
Thank you for indulging me. July 4th is my second favorite holiday, next to Thanksgiving. And, while I love the traditions of both, I think it’s important not to lose sight of why we celebrate them in the first place. Moving on…
July 4th holds a special place in my heart. Not just because I’m all about a good cookout and fireworks show (and, oh my, how I love fireworks!), but also because it happens to be the weekend that I met my husband.
Fourteen years ago, we were at a mutual friend’s house for a pool party. He asked for my number. I coyly responded with my pager number. His response: “I can page you, but I’d like to call you; what’s your phone number?” And, just like that, I knew I was in trouble. This could be fun, I thought. A real challenge, even for my free-spirited, independent self. No one (even us) would have predicted the result: We’ve been inseparable ever since.
I’m proud of the independent girl I was a teenager. This same independence helped me elbow my way into my first real job and, then, into business school, law school and, ultimately, my first law firm job.
Today, independence helped me remember why I started running. While I’ve continued running this season, I haven’t had the same passion for it. I really wanted to ride my bike today, but I felt like I had to run. It’s hard to coach a group of runners to follow a training regimen if I’m not exactly following it myself. I missed Saturday’s 14-mile run and had a 5-mile run on the schedule today. So, I set out to split the difference with a 9.5-mile run.
When I arrived at the lake, I realized that couldn’t remember the last time I ran more than 3 or 4 miles by myself. I’ve run with my group or, on a rare occasion, run the short loop in my neighborhood, but it had been ages since I’d run a full loop around the lake in solitude.
As it turned out, this was exactly what I needed. No pressure to call out directions, holler about pace, or worry about how everyone else was doing. I ran wherever and however I saw fit. I finished the run with the clarity, feeling of accomplishment, and sense of self that got me hooked on the sport in the first place.
Lesson learned :: Independence is always a good thing… even if it takes a while to come around.