One of the things that seems to make humans the most uncomfortable is the concept of change. We're conditioned against it, both culturally and psychologically. The comfort zones that we create for ourselves give us safe haven, and to step outside that haven is often perceived as a great risk. And so we resist…

But the fact is, change is inescapable, and to understand and accept this can be perhaps the grandest form of liberation.

Look around you and you will find change everywhere. Seasons change and bring us new weather patterns. Neighborhoods change as families move out, leaving room for new families and, quite often, new and exciting cultures to follow in behind.

We change jobs. We may move to a new house, or even a new city .

Children come into our lives and change the way we look upon adulthood. And then they grow up before our very eyes, changing from little ones into full-fledged adults. Friends may even come into and go from our lives. “Seasons change, and so did I” sang Burton Cummings in an old song by The Guess Who.

And of course, as we all get older, we change. And as we undergo the physical and mental changes associated with the matriculation process, our running changes, too. When younger, those changes may be to see ourselves get progressively faster, and stronger.

Later on, when past a certain age in life (whatever that might be for you), we will inevitably find ourselves in territory where we're becoming slower, more injury prone, or less competitive than we used to be. 5K and 10K times begin to increase. Injuries may plague us. Recovering from a race or a hard run starts to take longer. Or we may only be able to tackle one marathon a year, when two a year used to be a cakewalk.

But whichever way the changes are occurring for you, both in life and in your running, be comfortable with them. Wrap your arms around change with a warm embrace. Because change represents opportunity. Opportunity to overcome. Opportunity to learn new things, or relive old favorites from years gone by.

So don't resist change, as in doing so, you may actually be impeding your own personal growth. Use the changes that are constantly taking place in mind and body to keep making more of yourself, and consequently, of your running as well.

As you may have noticed, there are many changes that are taking place in the Orange Runners Club. This year we have several new club officers and people in key positions. Many new members are coming aboard – about 50 new ones in 2008! We have also changed the locale for our monthly club meetings, and if you haven't come out to a meeting this year, please consider it. There is also a new web site, as most of you now know, and if you haven't seen it yet, I encourage you to visit it and send us back your constructive comments about it. And there may also be a new twist to one of our staple races, the Jingle Jog, so stay tuned for that.

Also on the subject of change, this Summer, the Classic 10K course will be changing again. This is due to the building of the new Middletown High School track. The Classic race directors have said that they will plan to restore the previous course once the new facility at the high school is complete in 2009.

Every day represents a change from what was the day before. No two races or runs are ever the same, and for this we should find ourselves ever so grateful. As we head into the Summer running season, I join you all, my friends in the Orange Runners Club, in embracing the beautiful changes that await us now and in the second half of 2008.

And may the next run you do always be your sweetest yet.

Todd Jennings
ORC President