Get Out of Your Own Way

TCTC Frosty Fifty on Saturday, January 7, 2023, at Salem Lake in Winston Salem, NC. (Photo by Robert Hill)

The Twin City Track Club changed things up with this year’s winter seminar, taking the opportunity to welcome runner Desiree Linden to our running family in a big way.

Des joined the 25K race at the Frosty 50, finishing in the Top 3 before handing out a few awards and chatting with fellow racers at the Salem Lake Marina. Race number were up across the board from 2022, and the 25K had more runners that it had had over the past seven years. Note to Race Director Bill Gibbs: Maybe we plan to have an Olympic runner and Boston Marathon winner compete every year?

As the race was wrapping up, attendees gathered in the marina again for an afternoon bourbon tasting with accompanying small bites from Diamondback Grill and whisky guidance from Rickhouse Ramblings.

The weekend’s big event was a talk by Des to an audience of about 200 at the Wake Forest Biotech Place in Innovation Quarter, sponsored by BOA Nutrition. Des first shared her journey as a runner, which was not as straightforward as one might think.

From disparaging running as “boring” when her parents first introduced the sport to her, to insisting that she was a sprinter not a middle distance runner, then a middle distance runner not a long-distance runner, she found herself time and again redefining what she thought she could do.

She gave her sage pieces of advice from one about to turn 40 this July:

Be open to the possibility. She had spent much of her life using the past to gauge where she could go in the future. Had she stuck to those beliefs, she would have missed many opportunities.

“Get out of your own way,” she admonished the crowd. “Be open to the possibility and be your own biggest fan.”

Love the process. Or at least try to! Life doesn’t advance in a straight line and sometimes you fail or just don’t even feel like trying. Those days happen, unfortunately. But good days happen, too. All of these days are part of the journey.

Keep showing up. These are simple words but a difficult action. But showing up, trying and not succeeding, trying and just getting by—these are all the moments that make up our lives. And one day when you show up, something incredible can happen. But it won’t happen if you don’t show up.

We know we’ll be cheering for Des—and all the TCTC runners competing—in the Boston Marathon this year. She’s showing up; let’s see what the day will bring.