Every year members of my extended family run a 10-mile road race on the boardwalk in Atlantic City, NJ the weekend before St. Patrick’s Day. This year was particularly grueling – heavy rains, steady winds with gusts up to 40 mph. The people who ran it came back soaking wet, covered in sand blown off the dunes, exhausted and proud that they had survived. In addition, my sixteen year-old nephew, a member of his high school track team, won the race in his age group.
As I was looking at his medal, I told him how impressed I was. His response, “It wasn’t any big deal, I was the only one in my age group who showed up.”
Let’s review. Sixteen years old, up at 7 AM on a Saturday, running a 10-mile road race on the boardwalk in early March in the rain with 40 mile an hour wind gusts. Did I mention he was wearing a kilt (as were all of his uncles and his father)? He did what no one else in his age group was willing to do. He showed up and ran the race. He won and he earned his medal with every step he took.
Showing up matters. It matters a lot. It can be the difference between those who do and those who do not. Never underestimate the power of showing up.
Where can you show up today?