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Ruckmann-by Kubota!Dear Readers,

Have you ever completed a marathon or the equivalent thereof, like finishing a long absorbing book or tennis match, a school year, watching a major tournament from start to finish, finally writing a poem that you’ve had in your head for years, closing out a commitment for an organization or cause as a volunteer? Anything where you’ve invested a decent of amount of heart, soul, and sometimes muscle? And then …

I’ve seen and experienced this first hand.

With Wimbledon on the near horizon, I remember dozens of matches where a player out of nowhere would play the match of his or her life and then show up on court the next day a completely different player. It happened very recently at the men’s final of the French Open. Stan Wawrinka, who had beaten Andy Murray a few days before in five grueling sets, looked a little lost against Rafael Nadal. It seemed like he was just going through the motions.

When I lived in Baltimore, I trained for marathons with an amazing group of women who were far more talented as runners than I. To use a running term, I frequently drafted off them to conserve energy I needed as we ran miles and solved the world’s problems, often before 7 a.m.! My training partners were smart about gearing up for a big race and then gently coming down from the high of finishing it. Usually, the day or two after a marathon, we would start a bit later, sometimes even after the sun had risen, and slowly jog a few conversational miles.

My writing this blog for a year coincides with the start and finish of my fiscal year at my job where, as a fundraiser, I’m quietly gearing up for a last surge in June to reach goals. I’m almost there!

Starting this blog was a goal I held since my daughter was born. It took me six years to overcome my internal hesitation (in German, literally overcome my internal pig dog!). Once I did, I was surprised how much I looked forward to writing every day. It became a habit I embraced. Poems I wanted to write, people I wanted to thank, causes I wanted to raise awareness about, whimsical thoughts I wanted to explore — I found I could do all that and more with the blog. I even made new friends who followed the blog!

So as I near the end my fiscal year and blogging every day except weekends and holidays for 12 months, I think about my wonderful marathon friends in Baltimore, how they would approach a gentle, intelligent way to restart, reboot, redefine the next miles after a marathon. I would like to dedicate this post to them, particularly Anne, Linell, Laura, Linda, and Heidi. I miss them and I hope we will all run together in Hawaii some day!

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