Glitch, noun, defined: 1) “a sudden, usually temporary malfunction or irregularity of equipment.” 2) “an unexpected setback in a plan.”
Life is full of glitches. If that were not the case, Forrest Gump would have never come up with the expression (paraphrased for family viewing) “Stuff Happens.”
I had some stuff happen yesterday when I went to do my recycling. First, the attendant taking the cardboard threw my box away, even after I told him I needed it back and he said OK. Of course, he was probably saying OK to the person he was talking to on his cell phone, not me. Either way, now I have to get another cardboard recycling box. Glitch. Second, I swallowed a bug when I got out of the car. It was a small bug, but it was a bug indeed and it was disgusting…and gross. Glitch. There was nothing I could do about either one of those glitches, but accept it and move on, with the lessons learned from now on: dump my own cardboard and keep my mouth shut. I know neither of those incidences had anything to do with equipment so an argument could be made they weren’t glitches in the technical definition, but they both cause me an unexpected setback in my plan at the time!
Glitches occur at road races as well. As someone who does 5k’s several times a month, I know glitches can happen. I leave too early or too late (too early and I’m cold/bored/hungry. Too late and waiting in long lines for packet pick up/bathroom). I forget something important (earbuds/sunglasses/inhaler). A race start can get delayed due to any number of factors (last minute registrations/course police delays/locked bathrooms, etc.). Even with the best of planning, it sometimes happens. So what do we do?
If the glitch is something beyond my control, I try to let it go, understanding there are many factors that go into executing races and there are people in charge who will fix it. I’m there to have fun and challenge myself. I’ve learned I can have fun hanging out with other runners and meeting people while the problem is being taken care of by Not Me. And patience is a virtue!
If the glitch is of my own making, I try to learn from it. I go through my mental checklist before I leave the house. Do I have this? Do I have that? I also now keep extras of important things in a backpack in my car, just in case. I’ve determined, for me, the ideal time to arrive at a race is 30 minutes before, so I GPS my route the night before to determine what time I need to leave. I make sure to save the route so I’m not having to look it up the morning of the race.
I had an incident last weekend where I had a glitch of my own making and I learned a valuable race lesson from it. It was a very cold morning & I had on a hat and neck warmer that I could pull up over my face. I also have new wireless earbuds that I’m getting used to. Apparently, somewhere along the route, the combination of hat/neck warmer/earbuds pushed one of my favorite peace sign earrings out of my ear. It’s probably crushed somewhere on Peachtree Industrial Blvd. First, it made me very sad. They were my favorites! Then, it made me mad. Why do I wear earrings on at a 5k, for pity’s sake?! Lastly, I decided to let it go and replace them. I went on Etsy and found l lady who has a home business making jewelry and ordered 2 pair of peace sign earrings. I received them yesterday in a gift wrapped box with a note thanking me for supporting small, made in the USA, businesses. I was delighted!
My bottom line here is that glitches happen, both in life and in races, but that doesn’t have to ruin our enjoyment of either!