With any new year comes a unique set of challenges. For 2023, that includes a number of external pressures that will shape the year to come. From managing inflation, a burgeoning recession, and controlling what you can, the year is looking to be one filled with both struggle and opportunity. Facing that head on, I signed up for a 50K that I ran last week. A picture from that run now sets the tone of my site.
# Never give up.
The best theme for me is to set hard challenges and face them head on. For many of the items facing us next year, most I can’t control directly. As much as I’d like to make the economy better, politics a distraction, and pressures just go away, I know that I can’t. But I can set goals for myself to overcome.
One of those was the Wilson Creek Frozen 50K. I hadn’t run the race in 3 years. Seems a minor thing like a global pandemic prevented the race from running. Although I hadn’t been able to train as much for trails, I felt the challenge was worth it. To be fair, I spent the first 20 miles deciding if I could do it.
I’ve found that every race is unique, and this year was no different. A recent snow storm had changed the course. I would be met with a truly frozen landscape with snow and wind to overcome. My lack of hill training made the climbs that much more difficult, but not impossible. In the end, I pushed past my mental struggles and pushed forward.
Melba, Idaho, 2023 by Steven Reid
The last 10 miles (or so), were tough, but doable. I focused on the completion. As I summited the canyon, I found myself running along the creek. It wasn’t easy, but I felt some strength allowing me to finish the race strong. Not my fastest run but that didn’t matter. I set a challenge for myself and I completed it.
# Setting my sights on the rest of the year.
Proud to have completed such a tough challenge, I felt it made sense to make it the theme for my site. As snowy and tough as the trails were, the beauty of the Wilson Creek area reminded me why I run this race. That beauty proves there is good in struggle.
As such, I decided to use one of the photos of the area as site’s top image for the year. My hope is that looking at it reminds me of the opportunities that arise from overcoming difficulty. My 50K may not have been my best, but I still accomplished it. Having a reminder that sets my sites on the future can only make the year better in adversity. It may not be easy, but I can still make the journey worth it.