My Pride & Joy

If there’s one single thing that I can blame for my recent addiction to participating in organized running events, it’s the finisher’s medal you get at the end. Not the fun factor. Not the satisfaction of knowing I did it.  Not even the physical benefits can come close to the feeling I get when I’m handed one of those silly medallions hanging from its colorful fabric band.

IMG_5729 2The minute I was handed my first finisher’s medal at Disney’s Happy Haunted 5K I knew I wanted more. Feel free to picture me as an evil villain, rubbing my hands together greedily in the middle of a pile of wealth saying, “More! I still need more!” That’s pretty much how I felt every time I looked at that first medal. I craved another trophy, another token of accomplishment. Because obviously, knowing I did it simply wasn’t enough.

I wasn’t sure what to do with it.  I didn’t want to just shove it in a drawer, and I had no intention of wearing it (it was kinda ugly). So I proudly displayed that medal and my first running bib on the wall. I admired it often. It was just soooooooo pretty! And it was mine! ALL MINE!

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I’ve since accumulated two other medals, one for the A1A Half Marathon and another for the Royal Family 5K at Disney. Clearly my previous method of display was not going to work anymore. After all, if I was going to display one I really should display them all, right? It didn’t seem fair to play favorites, and they were all just sooooooo pretty to look at!

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So I crammed all three in the same frame, added the dates and names of the events, and hung that baby on the wall. And I gotta say, it’s probably borderline mental how often I glance up the stairs at it. I just find it to be incredibly motivating to see my running (and walking) accomplishments all in one place. It encourages me to keep going. It keeps the memories of those events fresh in my mind. It makes me proud.

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When my mom and I were at the expo for the Disney 5K we saw a vendor selling racks with hooks for hanging finisher’s medals. Some of the sample photos they had of the racks in use were crazy – dozens and dozens of medals hanging in a line, overlapping and crisscrossing each other. While I don’t have any aspirations for a wall in my house covered in running medals, I like the idea of having an impressive display like this someday, maybe in our next home’s office:

I’ve seen some cute variations of the same thing.  My favorites are:

  • Find Your Happy Pace
  • This is My Gym
  • I Run This Town
  • Hebrews 12:1 – “Keep running the race that is set before you with endurance.”

I may end up with one those later, but for now I’m happy with the three I have.  And they seem to be getting along splendidly all cozy together in their frame. Of course, they don’t know it yet but they are about to get a baby brother, because I just found out that the 10K I’m running next week is giving out finisher’s medals too! Yay! It’s a St. Patrick’s Day run – hope they don’t mind sharing a frame with an Irishman, because I fully intend to display this one too.

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