Ed Whitlock was a well known figure here, in Canada, to anybody who was remotely involved in running. He was establishing world records, over many track and road race distances, as he progressed through the various age group categories. One very notable one was running a marathon in 2:54:48 while in the age category 70-74! Running a sub-3 hour marathon is a challenge for anybody, and so much more so when over 70 years old!
Ed’s passing, while a sad event for our running fraternity, offers an opportunity to look at life in some very practical ways, and a number of perspectives come to mind:
- There is only one guarantee that any of us have in this life – None of us will get out of it alive! If you knew that your life was going to end 1 year from today, how much different would you live your final year? Perhaps the resulting thoughts should influence your future?
- We can all recall famous figures from history, and I would suggest that 99% of them (perhaps even 100%) are remembered for what they achieved. How many famous people can you recall that achieved fame by what material possessions they had, or by how much money they left behind? There is a message there!
- It is so easy (far too easy) to decide to do something “tomorrow”. Whether it be health related; repairing a damaged relationship, volunteering etc., “tomorrow” often seems to be a good time to start. One day… “tomorrow” is not going to come! Today may be your only opportunity!
- Be yourself! As obvious as that may seem to be, so many people are not being themselves. They are being who they believe will be accepted by their peers. They say yes/no based on what they believe the other person wants to hear. They are agreeable in order to avoid friction. They are in fact suppressing their own personality in order to appease others. Be yourself! Not everybody will like you however nice you are, but that becomes their problem (and their loss for missing out on knowing such a nice person!). Being true to yourself also becomes true to everybody else in your world, as they get to know the real you rather than the “image” you may currently be projecting.
- One simple fact will hopefully focus a spotlight on all the above thoughts – YOU ONLY GET ONE LIFE! Don’t waste it! Use it wisely! Use it to do what really is important to you!