A Race through Wine Country

Wine Country

“My goal is not to win the race, rank the highest, push the hardest, or stay up the latest.” I told my friend, almost regretting the words.

We live in a culture where the busiest person wins, where if you want to accomplish your dreams, you need to squeeze in your passion between working 50 hour weeks, exercising to maintain a certain image, being a good friend, raising kids, and on and on until you are completely exhausted. The kind of exhaustion where you aren’t paying attention.

I recently read Cold Tangerines, an absolutely must-read book,  that challenged me once again to slow down and take joy in the ordinary aspects of life. The author challenges readers to lift our eyes and see that life is happening right now and we have to stop waiting on someone or something to make us happy. Quite the challenge for someone like me. And I’m guessing for many of you it is too.

Listen to this quote:

“There will be a day when our family will no longer exist, and I want to know in that moment I wasn’t at the office or doing dishes, when I could have been walking out on the dock with my dad, when I could have been eating ginger cookies and drinking tea with my mom. I don’t want to be building my bank account or my dream house when I could be dancing with Aaron at the beach bar on New Year’s Eve, when I could be making crackers and cheese for dinner because we were on the boat till way after the shops closed, sunburnt and sandy and windblown, and happier there and together than anywhere else with anyone else.”

Instead of just nodding my head and underlining a few phrases in Niequist’s book, I decided I needed a tangible way to put the truth into practice. This past weekend, I ran my 10th half marathon. The last half marathon I ran, I tried to ‘take it easy’ and run with a friend, I cried a few hours after the race calling myself all sorts of names like ‘slacker’ and ‘pathetic’. For the Healdsburg Half Marathon through the sweeping vineyards in Northern California, I made a commitment that I wasn’t going to set a ‘pace goal’, nor was I  going to try to beat any other runners; in fact, I wasn’t going to run fast at all. My goal was to enjoy every vineyard, stop and eat a grape right off the vine, thank the people along the way who came to cheer us on, and take pictures.

And with the blazing sun shining over the vineyards, I popped a grape in my mouth and thanked God for all the beautiful gifts around me. Wherever you are right now, I hope you find a moment to stop and thank God for all the thousands of gifts He gives us in this incredibly story each of us are telling.

Enjoy the photos!

Wine Country

Race through Wine Country

Healdsburg Half Marathon

 Girls on the run cheering

Natalie and I celebrated her “6 year birthday” together. After the race, we all received a wine glass and had vineyards from all over the area offer wine tasting right at the finish line. Glorious!

Healdsburg Half Marathon

Do you find joy in everyday life? Do you struggle like I do with taking yourself too seriously?

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10 Responses to “A Race through Wine Country”
  1. Danelle says:

    :) this makes me happy. I’m glad you enjoyed your race. Looks like a beautiful one for sure! and I love that quote!

  2. Christy says:

    I love that quote too. It’s a reminder I know I need every single day. That looks like a beautiful race!!

  3. Meg says:

    Beautiful photos! Looks like you had an amazing time. Great post.

  4. Layne says:

    Great post, especially as I enter my 1/2 this weekend! By chance do you have a copy of Cold Tangerines I can borrow?!

    • Ruthie Dean says:

      Yes, enjoy your 1/2 this weekend! I’ll send you my copy once I’m done…but don’t tell the other book marketers that read my blog:)

  5. Natalie says:

    You ate the grapes??!! I should have stopped and ate some too, :-) you are so right that to pause and enjoy friends and many gifts God gave us to enjoy! Like I had a great time running with you and touring San Francisco with you, while deadline for paper is coming, but totally worthy it!! Thanks for taking such long flights to visit me and celebrate life in Christ with me! Love you, Ruthie!

    • Ruthie Dean says:

      Haha-I know you should have! I loved running the last part with you and crossing the finish line together. love you!

  6. Brad says:

    Yep. I like this very much. Well done and right in place. “Time is of the present; not of the forgotten.”

    Thanks Ruthie and hello to that wild husband of yours!

    All my best.

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