For Christmas I received a book called Amazing Things Will Happen, by C.C. Chapman. It’s one of those books written to help you kick-start your life. My favorite chapter so far is called “Celebrate Success of All Sizes,” in which Mr. Chapman notes, “We are taught to celebrate major milestones. New jobs, babies, and awards are always a good place to start. But what about the smaller victories that might happen daily? Why are we not celebrating those?”

What a great question. Think of all the negativity permeating the world. People love to complain. We gripe about work, about traffic, about the weather – no matter what season. Take a peek at your Facebook feed. How many positive, uplifting posts do you see?

I know it happens in running. If a race doesn’t go exactly to our liking, it’s incredibly easy to find ourselves mentally, if not verbally, pointing out excuses, a.k.a. the negatives. “That headwind stunk.” “The race was poorly organized.” “I got a cramp.” “What, no gourmet meal after the race??!”

All of this sometimes gets labeled as “healthy venting,” and maybe it is. To an extent. But what about venting good stuff instead of the bad so often? It’s not easy, especially with folks all-too-ready to write off an optimist as a “Pollyanna” with a little smirk on their faces. Optimism requires a combination of thick skin, resilience, and a liberal splash of plain old-fashioned stubbornness.

I like finding things to be happy about. I went out to buy a new pair of running shoes last week and, after a bit of an ordeal (Note to self: next time, don’t wait until the last minute!), finally folded my exhausted body into my car, new shoes safely beside me. Victory! Unfortunately, that evening I didn’t have the energy to do much celebrating beyond some cursory inhalation of that always-wonderful new-shoe aroma, but two days later, when I actually ran in the shoes…ahhhhh. My feet did their own celebrating.


There are plenty of other running-related victories out there to relish. New PR’s are obvious, but when we encounter a less-than-ideal race as noted above, if we try, chances are we’ll find something good to pull from it. Maybe it was our longest race ever. Maybe we made a new friend. Maybe they had beer at the finish. And it doesn’t even have to be a race. How about celebrating our highest-ever weekly mileage, or a cool new shirt, or the fact that we even went for a run after a truly garbage day at the office?

Outside of running, there’s even MORE to celebrate. I know all the “National days” (i.e. National Pancake Day, National Margarita Day, National Procrastination Day, etc.) have become kind of a joke, but I for one celebrated National Cherry Pie Day with gusto.


With awards shows, the NCAA championships, early signs of Spring, and everything else happening this time of year, some folks roll their eyes and keep their head down, but others leap at all these chances to break out a new outfit, throw a shindig, or just…you know…be happy.

For those people, the leapers, I’ll borrow the words symbolized by the swoosh on my new shoes: Just do it.


10 thoughts on “Celebrating

  1. Brilliant post! I’ve just written my blog for today celebrating this mornings run – and it’s true, we should celebrate the small things, today it’s Friday, the end of the week, 1 week to my birthday – all good things!!!!

  2. This is excellent advice. I actually follow this advice at work. I work in social services and it is so easy to get bogged down by all the sadness and negative things I see daily. I try my best to slow down and find those little successes in the day to day work I do. Thanks for the reminder that the same philosophy can apply in my persona life, too!

  3. My complaint of the day – It’s beautiful outside and I feel inspired to go for a run! 🙂 Turn that frown upside down and remember everyday is a new day! I’ve tried to live by the idea that each day brings new things and to remember that being positive is a great feeling.

  4. Great post, and you make such a good point! I just started reading CC’s book Content Rules, and Amazing Things Will Happen is next on my list. I’ll be sure to celebrate the little victories this weekend.

  5. Last week, one of my professors was talking about social media and how it’s changed customer service. He said, “When a customer has a good experience, they may tell four people. When they have a bad experience, they tell 14.”

    I keep thinking about that and am trying to make the reverse true! I realize that I gravitate more toward positive people because their enthusiasm and energy is contagious… Your blog post is really solidifying this theme in my life, so thank you!

    Cheers to being positive and celebrating the small things 🙂

  6. That’s great! And I do love pie 🙂

    I understand what you mean by small victories. It’s end of March and still feels like winter here, but I recently bought my first running skirt (and I love it), so it’s making my treadmill runs much easier to bear.

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