Charlotte A. Stout

Here are my recent thoughts/comments on a variety of topics.

May 18th: Fortitude – “mental and emotional strength in facing difficulty, adversity, danger, or temptation courageously.”

I recently ran in the Bloomsday Race in Spokane, Washington. It is a 7.5 mile run that draws from all over the world. This year there were 41,669 people registered. Each person who completes the race receives a coveted Bloomsday t-shirt. The t-shirt is coveted because it signifies a huge accomplishment and each year the color and design are unique. No one knows in advance of race day what the t-shirt will look like.

This year we (my husband and I) participated with two dear friends. Each of us has ‘issues’ we deal with every day. There are back problems, auto-immune system issues, feet that don’t cooperate because of sensitive bones, numbness and poor arches. I am sure you wonder why we went forward with this race considering we sound like hot messes.

Here’s the thing. We all work out a lot. We are strong and we don’t let little things like the issues referenced above stop us from doing anything. We believe we can accomplish anything we put our minds to if we want it bad enough. On days when we don’t want to work out or feel too sore to do so, we do it anyway. We work through it.

Was this race easy? Absolutely not! Did we suffer to get to the finish line? Indeed we did. But each one of us finished. How did we do it? We dug deep and drew on our grit, determination, fortitude and the lure of the coveted t-shirt at the end.

I am so proud of each one of the four of us because we participated with our heart and soul and finished without injury. I am also proud of the other 39,000 plus who finished the race. For those who started but did not finish, I am proud of them too. They showed courage in starting.

This race along flat ground, down hills, and up the crazy steep Doomsday Hill is not easy for the most experienced racer. So, no matter where one finishes in this race, just finishing is an accomplishment requiring great fortitude. Congratulations to all 2018 Bloomsday Racers.

Click to see some of my Prior Reflections