By Daren Schumaker, community contributor
Each of us experiences these significant life events — graduating from high school or college, entering the work force, the birth of a child and retirement are just a few.
For many, the only way to achieve some milestones is to focus on the finish line and the “pot of gold at the end of the rainbow,” blocking out everything else. A late night of studying or preparing for a presentation to your supervisors may not be enjoyable in the present, but it typically pays dividends in the future.
Team 99 Counties reached a milestone Feb. 16 ... the halfway point of our journey. As we reflected on what we have accomplished, something became clear — time moves quickly.
We arrived at the western edge of Lucas County in south central Iowa and started to move eastward at 10:15 a.m. We followed Highway 34, taking a detour through historic downtown Lucas, and returned to Highway 34 and trudged east, up and down snow-covered hills that made progress difficult at best. We slid into Chariton and as we looped the Lucas County Courthouse we reached the midpoint of our 50th county — the actual halfway point.
We even checked the math. Reality set in. To finish, we “only” have to repeat what we’ve already done. Yikes.
The remainder of our run was relatively uneventful absent the sights, sounds and goings-on at the Russell Livestock Market in, you guessed it, scenic Russell. There were hills, there was snow, there was a milestone. We crossed Lucas County in 3:39:44, running a total of 26.2 miles.
Often our message is intended to inspire others to work hard today to reach future goals. To become active and exercise to improve your health and increase the amount of time you have on this earth with your loved ones.
The reality is that life is a balancing act. Unlike our quest, life doesn’t have a set midpoint. The harsh reality is today is closer to the end of your life than you may want to believe. If we were to focus on only completing our 99th county, we would inevitably miss many enjoyable things along the way. Beautiful country, shared memories and friendship.
The moral of the story — don’t forget your goals, but don’t sacrifice the enjoyment you can find everyday of your journey. Live everyday like it could be your last, because someday it will. Time flies. We are already halfway done. To some that is a good thing, but to us it also means we already have enjoyed half of what this experience has to offer us.
Balance and enjoy your life and journey.Inspiration through perspiration. Become active or make a donation to Team 99 Counties or the American Heart Association to help fight heart disease.