Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Surprised by Joy

If you've seen me over the last few weeks, you may notice that I'm looking a little tired.  One reason that I'm sleepy is that I've been up late watching Universal Sports' coverage of the 2011 Track and Field World Championships in Daegu, South Korea.  I LOVE watching sports, especially running races.  In fact, I think that I enjoy spectating at least as much as I enjoy participating.  I'm usually OK with watching a race once and then moving on.  But I have to admit that there's one race from this year's championships that I keep coming back to: it's the womens' 1500m race.  For those who didn't see it, I'll spare you the suspense - an American named Jenny Barringer Simpson won the race.  But for me, it's not so much about who won, but how she won, and her response after winning.  Check it out (Jenny's in navy blue): 

The race positioning changes an amazing number of times during the 4-minute test.  For much of the event, Jenny is closer to the back than the front.  But this doesn't seem to get to her: with 200 meters to go, she makes her move, and manages, somehow, to summon strength, winning strength, and powers her way to the front.  Her race smarts and confidence are clearly inspiring.  But I have to tell you that what I love most of all is her response after she crosses the line - it's written all over her face - first disbelief...then relief... then Joy.

Have you had this kind of response, or felt this kind of joy, at some point during your life?  Have you worked hard toward a goal, even one that seemed unattainable, and accomplished it?  Have you faced something you weren't sure you could conquer and come out victorious on the other side?  Or maybe you experienced joy welling up inside of you after learning something that changes everything.  Maybe your "race" was a lot longer than 4 minutes; in fact, maybe you're in the middle of your race right now.

If you've had a moment like Jenny's, I'd love to hear all about it!

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