I ran a race yesterday. I ran hard, and I did pretty awesome, setting a personal record at the half marathon distance. When I got home, my three year old asked me if I won the race. “No, I didn’t win the race. But mommy ran faster than I ever have before buddy!”.
He looked strangely at me and said, “But you didn’t win?”.
“No, I didn’t win but I still did really awesome! So you can still say good job,” I tried to coax a compliment out of him.
“No because you didn’t win!” He was obviously disappointed.
So I lied. “Well I did win buddy! A lot of people won. We all won really! See, I even got this t-shirt!!” (Everyone got a t-shirt.)
That worked. His whole face brightened up and he smiled from ear to ear, “GOOD JOB MOMMY!!!”
Although he is 3, his understanding of running is the same as a lot of non-runners. They assume I run to win. Or assume that I at least must be good at it. The truth is I would never have a chance at winning any race I have ever run and I am really not all that good at it.
Once people realize this, they question, “Then why run?”.
Explaining why runners run, to people who do not run is hard. But I will try.
I run to be with people. I am an introvert. That doesn’t mean I don’t like people all the time, it just means I don’t like people most of the time. Running allows me to spend time with people, without ever having to say a word.
At the same time, when you spend that much time with a group of women, and share that many physical and emotional struggles, you bond. You can really get to know someone during a 20 mile training run. By the end of it you will know about the bowels of most the group, have heard most of their inner most secrets, and the reserved polite preacher's daughter is cussing like a sailor. A bond created among running friends is unlike any other.
I run to be alone. Sometimes you just need quiet. Sometimes you need to pray. Sometimes you need to reflect. And running can give you that better than anything. There is nothing that can ease the mind better than running yourself into physical exhaustion.
Running is better than driving, or a taking a bath, or going for a walk. When you need to, you can physically push yourself hard enough that even your mind quits thinking of anything other than running. There is nothing more effective at completely shutting down outside thoughts. And some days, as a mom, as a business professional, I need that.
I run to be a better than I was yesterday. I am nothing more than average (and usually below average) with my pace. That PR I set yesterday – it was a 1:55 half marathon (13.1 miles). That’s a respectable, but average time.
But for me, it was better than winning. It was a time at one point I never dreamed I could achieve. Running is about personal goals, personal victories and achieving distances, times and feats that are more than what you thought YOU could do. My mother in law, who is a Boston and New York Marathon Qualifier, is able to celebrate my victories like they are equal to hers. Because in this sport, no one is comparing a person to anyone other than the runner they were yesterday.
Look at a marathon like Chicago, where I crossed the finish line in 2014 with 45,000 other runners. Only a handful of those runners ran that race thinking about winning. The other 44,900 were running a race with themselves. To simply be better than the runner they were the day before -- whether that means simply crossing the finish line or it means running a sub 3:30.
Finally, I run because I like cake. A lot of people assume its first on the list for every runner. They picture us all as these stick thin, dieting health zealots who have to run out of an obsession for burning calories. I am none of those things.
I don’t count calories, I am not a size 2 and I don’t obsess over my weight. I do however, like cake. And cookies. And hot wings and beer (which is exactly what we celebrated with yesterday)!!
And I feel a whole lot better about stuffing my face in a crowded room, if I can turn to the person staring at my plate piled high with my second serving and say “Its fine. I run marathons”.
I don't know you, although now I wish I had met you before my husband. Kidding (well sort of)!
I am Facebook friends with many people who know you. They apparently know you well enough to publicly judge your morals, integrity and breeding program on their Facebook walls. They know you well enough to "know" if the money was "real" or "fake".
But like I said above, I don't know you so I'm not sure about any of that. I am sure of this though.
You deserve a huge “Congratulations”!
I cannot imagine the excitement you and your family felt that night. I cannot imagine the pure exhilaration at having your work rewarded in such an unbelievably awesome way! You deserve a party and I hope you throw one!
You deserve a huge “Thanks”!
Thank you for putting your ram lamb out there. It takes guts to publicly sell an animal, and even more guts to publicly sell a good one. People who don’t sell animals in such highly watched (and criticized) forums under estimate that fact. Some days it seems there are more people out there who would rather see their fellow breeders fail than have such an awesome success.
Your buyer (and bidders) deserves a huge “Thanks”!
Thanks for believing in the business (not just one program, but the entire industry) enough to put that kind of investment in. And thank you for being willing to do it in a public forum where more of us can share in the excitement and energy it brings!
People have said it’s crazy. If you analyze the numbers, it's really not insane. A top breeder utilizing current breeding technology and marketing, using new sale methods with lower costs and higher returns can cash flow the purchase well. Most of us wouldn't be able to, but the elite breeders in the profitable sectors of the industry can.
And finally, you deserve an apology.
As long as we all run in this competitive business with winners and losers there will be jealously. But I am always a little crushed by the way that jealousy manifests itself into personal attacks and rumors, at a time when the industry should be rallied around a breeder in support of a huge milestone and accomplishment.
I hope through all the negativity you can hear the shouts of excitement from those of us who don’t even know you but were celebrating with you!
I hope above all else you can enjoy the moment and celebrate the success with your friends, family and customers! Because it was one awesome success! A success that I cannot imagine, but can at least dream about now…
P.S. In case you do ever see this, I wouldn't be good at my job as show manager if I didn't mention the Midwest Junior Preview Show is seeking support for the commercial breeding division of the show and we pay back 100% of any donations received to the kids! More information on the show can be found at www.midwestjuniorpreviewshow.com.
3/7/2015 33 Comments
I asked several of my non-farming friends what their main concerns are when grocery shopping. Most of them rattled off a few things about health and safety and then nearly all of them, almost quietly, mentioned cost.
I am here to tell you it’s a GOOD thing to be considerate of cost at the grocery store and I am going to tell you why you can feel good about, or dare I say PROUD, about buying conventionally grown products!
1. Conventionally grown is equally as nutritious and safe as its organic counterparts!!
All foods are rigorously tested for food safety in the USA which is why in the rare case when someone does get sick from food, it still makes headlines. In many countries, a person getting sick from food is not even considered news worthy!
Hundreds of tests have been done and there are no nutritional differences in the two. Organic is a method of producing food, not a label that indicates anything about the safety or nutrition of the product.
(Review one of the studies completed for nutritional differences here: http://www.ilsi.org/FoodBioTech/Publications/10_ILSI2008_CaseStudies_CRFSFS.pdf)
Most all produce can be found with extreme trace amounts of pesticide (yes organic production does allow for the use of over 50 pesticides). There is no notable differences in these trace amounts from organic and conventionally grown making both options SAFE options!
2. Being financially smart is GOOD and IMPORTANT for your family!
I would guess most families are just like mine – living on a budget that most often is pretty tight. When you refuse to pay twice the price for a gallon of milk labeled “antibiotic free” because you know ALL dairy and meat are antibiotic free at the time of consumption, you are telling your family that their financial security is important to you!
I am giving you permission to be financially smart –without guilt – about your buying decisions at the grocery store! Moms especially tend to stress about doing the absolute best for their children. Don't let this be one of the things that adds stress -- because fresh food is always a good choice regardless of how it was produced!
3. You are supporting family farmers, whose livelihood depends on their farms!
People have a tendency to confuse the “organic” label with “local”, “small” or “family”. Yes, a lot of organic is produced that way (some is not). But guess what – nearly all conventionally grown foods are also grown BY FAMILY FARMERS!!
My husband raises conventional grown (yes that means GMO) corn, soybeans, alfalfa hay and of course cattle and sheep. We also eat what we consume. We also feed it to our livestock and children.
When you purchase products that are conventionally grown you are not supporting some scary “agribusiness giant” – you are supporting him. And hundreds of farmers just like him. A majority of which are also small farmers like our family.
4. You are supporting technology that allows a safe, affordable food source worldwide!
GMO technology is the most thoroughly tested product on the market today. In fact, there are over 2000 independent and peer reviewed studies that show the safeness of GMOs for both human and livestock consumption!
(See a discussion on those studies here: http://geneticliteracyproject.org/2013/10/08/with-2000-global-studies-confirming-safety-gm-foods-among-most-analyzed-subject-in-science/)
When you say “Yes!” to conventionally grown products you are supporting further development of this technology that has allowed us to produce more food on fewer resources than ever before!
GMO technology allows us to better care for our land and water. GMO technology allows us to use less chemical and to better negate the risks involved in farming such as drought, flood, pests and disease. GMO technology is keeping food at affordable prices.
5. You are teaching your children to base decisions on logic and fact, not fads and marketing.
Many labels were developed as a means of fetching a premium for a product. Many of these practices have higher costs and higher waste, so marketing the product for a premium is vital to the industry. This marketing is often done by ill means – misleading information, scare tactics and food guilt targeted at food produced by other, more modern means.
Organics is a $35 billion dollar per year business – so do not be fooled. It is a business – one that is not anymore concerned about your wellbeing and health than any other business is.
Trust in fact and science to take comfort in your purchase decisions. Trillions of meals containing GMOs have been consumed and not one case causing human harm has been found.
The World Health Organization, AMA, FDA, European Commission, National Research Center and even the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation all support the safety of GMOs.
(Someone will argue that some other countries do not allow GMOs, which is true. The reason however has nothing to do with science, evidence or any ill effects of GMOs. It is simply because their governments caved to public pressure when the public was scared by the same tactics being used here now).
Not all of us have the luxury of being able to spend limitless dollars on food. Not of all of us think it’s necessary even if we did have the money.
Many of us know that it’s OK, even something we can feel good about, to feed our families with scientifically proven products, that are safe and nutritious and grown by family farmers!
So say no to #FoodGuilt and yes to #FoodFacts!
For more information about all types of farming, please visit some of the following links:
Genetic Literacy Project
Missouri Farmers Care
For information regarding the requirements of organic production please visit here:
Kate Lambert grew up in northern Illinois, not on a farm but active in FFA and showing livestock.
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