Better Than the Alternative Tuesdays: Rabbits

Friends, it is a beautiful day here in New York City. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, AND it’s Better Than the Alternative Tuesdays today on the blog! Don’t be fooled by the theme of today’s BTAT, it is not about fury little outdoor creatures who eat carrots.

Nor is it about a vampire bunny who sucks the color out of vegetables but isn't this a classic book?!

The kind of Rabbits to which I am referring are the types found in road races and track meets and life. Rabbits, or Pace Setters as they are more officially called, are hired by teams, individuals and sometimes the race directors themselves to start a race with the elite runners but drop out about halfway through. The idea is that they set and maintain an extremely even pace for the elites to follow, fall into, and perhaps even to encourage a record-setting pace.

Joseph Kariuki was a staple at the NYC marathon as the pacer for the elite men's pack. (Image courtesy of The New York Times)

Some runners treat everyone who is ahead of them on the road as a Rabbit whom they should try and follow, keep up with, or even pass. I have found that there are Rabbits in life, too.

A “life” Rabbit is someone who doing/being what I want for myself. They are walking the walk, talking the talk, taking names and kicking butts.

They are the athletes whose commitment and determination we all wish we had. They are the philanthropists who set aside countless hours and dollars to better the lives of those less fortunate. They are the students who sacrifice way more than I do to get a good grade in a hard class. They are the friends and partners who keep their cool in even the most stressful of situations. They are the moms and dads who have found the balance between parenthood and still being individuals, too.

How DO you do it???

Paula chases and BEATS the male runners...almost cost her a world record but HISTORY STANDS. Rock on, Paula. (Image courtesy of iaaf.org)

These, and so many more, are my Rabbits. They are out in front of me, setting the pace for life. I am trying to keep up, to train harder and adjust my racing strategy and tactics to better match their momentum, their movements. One day, I hope to run alongside them as equals and to maybe even inspire someone else along the way.

For now, I will continue to huff and puff in their steps and learn from them during the races. Maybe I’ll catch them, maybe I won’t. But I’m going to keep on trying. I hope you Rabbits in my life don’t mind a noisy grasshopper tagging along behind you. I just can’t pass up the opportunity to run with you awesome people.

I will follow that cute Rabbit anywhere, but especially onto the field at Yankee Stadium!

Rabbits remind me to work harder, strive for more. They keep things fresh and challenging. Most of all, Rabbits remind me that I can do better and that I should do better. And that is always a good thing in my book.

Who are the Rabbits in your life? Who sets the pace and the tempo for who you want to be? Are you a Rabbit? Tell me all about it.

Now go out and run!

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