Daisy Dash 5 K– Life Lessons and Paying it Forwar

By Diane Hiller

Thank you Daisy Dash, for reminding me about the rules of life. I only have one complaint. What’s with all the hills? Oh that’s right, we live in Clarendon Hills.  I’m the one in the middle of the photo with the white hat, gasping for air to get to the finish line.

It’s not like I’m making excuses or anything but I’m not an avid runner or athlete. Before training, I was running about two miles once or twice a week in the summer only. I started training about four weeks ago doing 8-11 miles a week and was injured two weeks into it. I was told to get an x-ray (which I didn’t) and no more running until the race (which I did.) So I toughed it out and ran today but did terribly.

It’s funny but I really don’t feel so bad about it. At least I’m able to run and finish a race. I like to run because it is hard for me. It makes other areas of my life easier to get through because of the discipline of running.

I was in a workshop downtown recently for grant writing. I was speaking to a woman next to me about the economy and how hard it is right now, with lots of roadblocks for nonprofits and for many people and families, as well.  She was from an organization on the south side of Chicago and knew a thing or two about roadblocks. But instead of agreeing with me or chiming in herself, she put her hand on mine and said, “Stop thinking of them as road blocks, they are opportunities for you that are opening up and you are lucky to have them.”

I remembered her words as I struggled today to finish the race. I realized my running parallels life in so many ways, I decided to share list of do’s and don’ts:

  1. If you can’t run, walk for a while. Don’t beat yourself up when you fail to live up to your expectations. Walk then run but don’t give up just because it’s hard.
  2. When an outstretched hand offers you water, take it. You don’t know where or if the next one is coming. Oh, and don’t forget to run through the sprinkler too, it will cool you off and makes you feel like a kid again. Accept kindness and laugh once in a while. Don’t take life too seriously.
  3. Smile and thank the volunteers in the race. Giving is as good as getting so don’t forget to pay it back in some way. Volunteer for something in your community that may not be the charity “du jour” but could really use your help.
  4.  Pay attention to road blocks on the route. They are there to guide us in the right direction. We think our road blocks in life are stopping us, but they are really there to open up opportunities for change and growth. My workshop friend was right.
  5. Even though you train and see success around the bend, you may get injured running. No matter how prepared you think you are.  Life is going to throw you a curveball. Be flexible and roll with it. Sometimes life isn’t fair, deal with it and move on.
  6. When life hands you lemons…take a big bite, spit out the seeds and be glad you are alive to enjoy another beautiful day in paradise!



About Diane Hiller

Diane has lived in the suburbs of Chicago for twenty-five years. While raising her three children with husband Jon, she has served as village president and now supports historic preservation with the Clarendon Hills Historical Society. Diane’s blog “Pleasant Valley Sunday” appears on TheHinsdalePatch.com. and chlife.wordpress.com.
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