Turning The Corner

As the road of life takes us on all of its various twists and turns, over and over again we find ourselves turning corners. And just as is true in the well-known phrase “there are two sides to every story,” such is also true with corners.

On the near side of each corner is always something familiar; territory that's been traveled or experienced in some way. This could be a personal relationship, a job, a place we've lived, or just about anything from our past up to the present moment. And on the other side of the corner is almost always something fresh, new, and if our minds are open to it, often welcome, too.

Personally I've always found the concept of the “corner” to have great mystique. Corners are found everywhere we look in life, and they provide us with all sorts of fodder for self-examination, reflection, and if you fancy yourself a writer, perhaps some sensible and relevant prose.

Just think of all the things that you can do with corners. We can "hang out" on them, and as kids, a lot of us did just that. And although the mall has in large part replaced the corner in youth culture, many of us oldsters remember the corner fondly, and as a place where many friendships were built.

You can also "round a corner," like NASCAR drivers do for hours on end in places like Daytona, Talladega , Martinsville and Darlington.

And of course, you can "cut corners," like when we're trying to do something in a hurry, or do it on the cheap.

The corner can also be a crossroad, either in the geographic or figurative sense. Some corners are downright famous: Hollywood and Vine, Haight & Ashbury, and in our very own New York City , 42 nd and Broadway. In the figurative sense, the corner as a crossroad can lend itself to much discussion about human nature, and our tendency to almost always take the road that is more traveled.

As most of you will undoubtedly agree, on race courses - and especially short ones - we runners don't like to turn too many corners. It slows our momentum, and takes us out of our rhythm. And it can sometimes result in an inadvertent elbow or crushed foot as we vie with the rest of the pack for the tightest route around that cumbersome 90-degree angle in the road.

But there are upsides to turning corners, of course. For one thing, it could give you a fresh look at the real estate in front of you after what may have been a long straightaway of “yuk.” It also may bring into view that runner you've been chasing for the last half mile, but lost sight of when he turned the corner, now giving you extra incentive to push yourself even harder. Or….it may be the corner around which you see the finishing clock, and which tells you that this torturous pain you've been in for miles and miles is only moments away from coming to an end!

Well folks, the groundhog has done his dirty work now, and very soon we will turn the corner on another season of short days and frigid weather. Spring is now but a few breaths away.

Around this next corner we will see several things on the horizon with the Orange Runners Club. The first of those is the annual Interclub Challenge on March 15th. This year it's being hosted by the Rockland Road Runners, and it behooves our club to go down there, run well, and express our thanks for our southern neighbors for taking on the job of hosting.

Another “treat” in store for everyone is the all-new Hudson Valley 15K (set for April 19 th ), a new ORC club race this year, and one that will both challenge and delight even the most dedicated and experienced runners. If you have that distance within your capabilities, please consider adding this event to your 2009 calendar.

Every time we turn a corner we see something new. It's a gift of life, and certainly not one to be taken for granted. May the corners you turn in your running and in life continue to be full of challenges, delights and surprises.

Happy running, and I will look forward to turning many corners with all of you!

Todd Jennings
ORC President