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Lee Hoedl
6155 16th St. South, Fargo, ND 58104
Cell: 701.306.1266
Email: leehoedl@yahoo.com


I will often hear from other runners, particularly as they prepare for their Disney World race experience that they are "afraid" they won't complete the training, "afraid" they will get injured before race day, "afraid" that they will not wake up in time to catch the shuttle to their Disney race, or "afraid" they will get picked up before finishing their race in the allotted timeline...

First of all, it is a statistical truth that over 90% of what we are afraid of possibly occurring, never occurs.

Second, remember this every time you lace up your shoes to go out on a training run: THERE IS NO ROOM FOR FEAR IN THE HOUSE OF MOUSE. Hope, anxiousness, nervousness, excitement, wonder? Absolutely. Fear? No.

As you presently stand on the threshold of your first (or mutliple) Disney race, know that the nervousness - not fear - you feel is very natural. As all defining moments (i.e. your wedding, child births, career changes, life circumstances, holidays, etc.), this nervousness and anxiety awakens in each of us the awareness that the moment upon us is one that deserves a profound level of wonder and reverence. Believe in your heart that this nervousness, this anxiety, does not stem from any form of self-doubt but your own self-awareness that this approaching moment will be one of “definition.” If you allow it (as with all defining moments), it will shape and reshape your life, energize it, redirect it and propel it in new directions and dimensions. As it approaches, stare at it with that childlike wonder and reverence. Let the entire experience – from Expo to finish line - wash over you with all of its excitement and void of any fear. There is no room for fear at Disney World. Walt never had that in mind at all. You have worked so very hard, so set all doubts aside.

My friend, what you are about to undertake is not simply a race, a Disney experience or a vacation memory. It will be a challenge of not simply “mind over body,” but it will be a united effort of your entire mind, body and spirit. The miles under your feet will demand you to answer the question, “Why are you doing this?” So do yourself a favor and answer that question today for yourself – days before you toe the start line. Write it on your hand with permanent marker, write it on your race jersey… whatever it takes to remember it. Why and for whom are you runnign your Disney race experience? Add hope and inspiration to your training, for hope and fear rarely can occupy the same space in one's life and heart and plans.

Take that answer with you through every mile and then go one step further: offer up your entire race experience as a prayer for another whom you know would love to trade places with you, but simply can’t. Your family and friends will be offering up prayers for your success on the course and you will be doing the same for others while you are on the course – now THAT is truly a defining moment for so many.

There will be many of us running beside you during this 2013 weekend, so don’t think for a moment you will be alone. Much like Life, we run our own race but we run it together… with the ultimate goal of getting to the finish line. Cheer others on while you’re out there and gain strength from those cheering you on. Be thankful for each step forward and offer a word of thanks to the many volunteers who have come out to see you succeed. Remind yourself of one blessing in your life as you finish each mile. Offer up each mile to a friend, colleague or family in physical, psychological or spiritual need. Keep each mile of your race – whether it is the 5K, half marathon or marathon – vivid in your mind.

And for the present, live in the present mile you are on (training or race) and don’t worry about the next one down the road. It will be waiting for you, with all the excitement and none of the fear.

Post Note: Afraid of waking up too late for your race shuttle during race weekend? Bring a portable alarm clock (battery operated, in case of power outage) and then ask your hotel front desk for a wake-up call. At the same time, set your portable alarm clock, your Iphone and your running watch for the same alarm time - not 5-minutes apart. Set them for the same time so the alarms going off will somewhat overwhelm you - and you'll be sure to jumpup and be ready to race in the House of Mouse!