Monday, June 24, 2013

5670


Yesterday I had the amazing opportunity to be a part of the Boston Athletic Association's 10k. For those of you who do not know, the Boston Athletic Association is the same organization that has put on the Boston Marathon since April 19th, 1897. The B.A.A 10k was their first event since the tragedy that occurred this past spring.

The event was incredible. Everyone was decked out in blue and gold (organization's colors) in honor of Boston. There was a moment of silence for the victims of the marathon and even the winner of the marathon Lelisa Desisa, presented his medal back to the mayor of the city in honor of the race (I also got to meet him!). The energy and pride that one felt in the audience could not be explained.

It was a shared experience and one that I will remember for the rest of my life.

To me, my time or a PR did not matter, but what mattered was being a part of something larger than myself and sharing this experience with everyone there. Every runner their had a story, whether they were the elite trying to place for the chance at a title, a man who had been at the Boston Marathon participating or the older woman who had a "Boston Strong" shirt on trying to give back and do something in honor of her city. This race filled my expectations and more.

For the past year, I have had the pleasure of interning for Phired Up Productions. Phired Up is an education firm that helps organizations grow and helps in engaging people around their purpose. One thing that Phired Up has developed is the notion of "social excellence". Within social excellence there are four pillars:
  • Curiosity
  • Generosity
  • Authenticity 
  • Vulnerability
Yesterday I saw and experienced all four of those. I experienced curiosity when I met a few new friends while waiting at the starting line. I learned about where they came from, what they did, what brought them to Boston.

I saw generosity throughout the whole entire race. Between the volunteer cheering me on by name (it was on my bib) on the sideline to this conversation I overheard at the finish line:

"Thank you so much for pushing me and supporting me while we ran together, I really appreciated it"


Those are conversations you don't hear everyday and it warmed my heart to hear that. It shows the power of the running community.

I saw the power of authenticity when marathon winner Lelisa Desisa, spoke and presented his medal
Lelisa and me!
to the city. He showed compassion and care. He went around connecting with different runners in the audience, taking pictures, handing out autographs-he was an authentic leader and person.

Lastly, I experienced the power of vulnerability from every individual at that race. As mentioned before this was the first race by the B.A.A since the tragedy. For some runners this may easily have been their first race since participating in the marathon, for some it was their first race ever, some may have had doubts showing up because of what had happened...needless to say every individual had a story and every individual put their hearts out onto that course for the city of Boston. That is vulnerability, that is social excellence.

I am so thankful and grateful for this experience. I couldn't have asked for a better race or day. What is your most memorable race? How have you seen social excellence within your organizations, clubs or communities?






xox,
gfr


For more information on Phired Up, please visit: http://www.phiredup.com/
For more information the Boston Athletic Association, please visit: http://www.baa.org/


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