The Back Nine

From Freddi

At the dawn of 2020, I wanted to share, with a little update on my age, a column from 12 years ago, when I turned 60. Now that I have hit another milestone birthday, it is more relevant than ever, with the lessons it contains. I wish all of you, our RG family, a Happy and Healthy New year. Thank you for continuing the RG journey with us.

In December, I was talking with a friend about my upcoming milestone birthday. Before I had a chance to tell her I’d be turning 60*, she asked if I was turning 50. What an ego boost! I thanked her and told her that she was one decade early. We laughed. She then made a comment that gave me a lot to think about. She said, “You’re on the back nine. Do what makes you happy.”

The back nine. I’m not a golfer, but I knew exactly what she meant: I’m on the back nine of life and I shouldn’t squander the precious time in front of me. And, thanks to Laura, I’m doing my best to make my back-nine years the best years.

I’ve spent so many hours fretting over the future, or anticipating a significant occasion yet to come. I’ve lived with my planner, writing in dates and times as if my life was the planner. Some people call it “calendaring,” living for the future, as we let each day escape our focus.

We might have thoughts like these: Once I get that marathon under my belt…once I get that 5K PR…once vacation comes…once the kids are out of school…once I get a new job…once I retire…then what? Why do we think that life will be so much better in the future, when each day brings us something worth celebrating?

Life, whether the back nine or the beginning of the course, is about now. Maybe it’s only by getting to the back nine that we realize what’s important. When we put running, working, working out, or time fillers ahead of family and friends, then our priorities need an adjustment. If we live by our planners and not by the day, than we’re heading off the course. We should plan for the future, but not live for it.

My back nine is already filled with the joy of family and friends; the joy of love and caring; the joy of dancing and music; the joy of laughter; the joy of running and working on RG; and the joy of birthing our new website.

The back nine—I’m aiming for a whole lot of holes-in-one. And, if I don’t get them, I’ll keep in mind that it’s in the trying that the joys of living and running are captured.

In this game, we don’t get a Mulligan after we play the last hole.



Categories: From Freddi

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