A Box of Memories

Reflection after an early and slightly disappointing end to my first collegiate cross country season in 2011.

I have a shoe box on my shelf full of medals.

Sometimes when I’m feeling down.
Or slow.
Or before a big race.
Or when I’m just bored.
I open the box.

One by one I take them out.
And one by one I remember.
And I’m always amazed how nothing but a piece of metal.
And piece of ribbon.
Can mean so much.

Not literally.
Because medals are just medals.
And they will one day gather dust in an attic.

But symbolically.
Because memories last forever.
And they will one day be all we have.

I sit and hold a medal.
And remember.
The song I sang in my head during the race.
The way I felt as I crossed the line.
The look on my coach’s face as I walked back to the team.

I remember.
Waiting for results to be posted.
For those races that were too close to call.
Celebrating with my teammates.
Crying with my teammates.

I remember.
Searching the crowd for my family.
Because it always meant that much more when they were there.

I remember what the race meant to me.
If it was a PR.
Or a SB.
If it was a goal achieved.
I remember what it meant for the team.

All these memories come rushing back to me.
And I am there, in the moment.

I have a shoe box on my shelf full of memories.