Reaping the Best of Summer

On May 3rd, I packed up my car and headed from Boston to Maine. Summer vacation, here I come! That seems like just yesterday. I had so many big plans for my long summer weekends with friends and family. I was going to go skydiving with my brother, white water rafting with my cousins and to Nashville with my friends to find ourselves some southern gentlemen to take home to Mommy (that’s normal, right?). Now, it’s the first week in August? You have got to be kidding me. Have I done anything I actually planned to do this summer?

I recently ran the York Days 5K in York, Maine. It was a beautiful Sunday morning at 8am…okay, I’m 21, so no Sunday morning at 8am is too beautiful. Regardless, I needed to run the race with my family. Five years ago, my cousins and I got together and formed a running team. We called ourselves M3 Running (to represent the last names of the participating families: Mitropoulos, Meserve and Maskwa). We traveled throughout Maine and New Hampshire running races that supported causes we were affected by. (Except for he “Will Run for Beer” race–that was just for fun).

Kinnegad 5KM fun run and walk July 2011
Kinnegad 5KM Fun Run and Walk July 2011 / Peter Mooney / CC BY 2.0

A couple years ago, a friend of our family had cancer and his family needed help raising money to assist with hospital bills. His friends and family organized a 5K Run/Walk to rake in some much-needed funds. My parents are far from the athletes they may have been in high school (I’ll blame that on them having four children), but they felt the strong need to participate in this 5K for obvious reasons. Those of us who had already finished the race stood at the finish line and waited until my darling parents rounded the corner together (holding hands). When they finished their first race together, I felt tears coming down my face because I was so proud of them. I finally saw running as something that could bring people together for good causes instead of just something I dreaded at lacrosse practice. Running or walking 5Ks is something I feel everyone should be a part of. Supporting important causes and jogging past the finish line while people cheer you on…Who doesn’t love that?

So how do you take advantage of those last summer weekends? No, you don’t have to go start a running team, go find your future country-singing husband in Nashville, or even jump out of a plane… Just get outside. Go for a walk after work today, eat dinner outside while there’s still sunlight in the sky, watch the sunset with a glass of wine, soak up some rays or cast a line with your friends. You don’t have to make big plans, just make a plan and don’t wave it off for another day.

Summer will be gone before you know it.