Running in Gratitude

To everything Running has given me this year and in the future

Justin DePierro – Confluence Running – Hudson Valley Manager


I have always seen November as a fantastic time to do an annual check in. Not only do we end the month with a holiday of giving thanks, but for runners it usually coincides with an end to the racing calendar, the start of cold winter training, and putting the pieces together for the following year. As part of my yearly check in, and in the holiday spirit, I like to take inventory of all the things running has given me in 2022 and how I can pay it forward for 2023.

What I’m Grateful for

My job

I’m pretty fortunate that every day I get the opportunity to truly help someone. Whether it’s the 7thgrader joining the cross country team for the first time, or the nurse that works long shifts and their feet are aching, or the seasoned veteran racing the Boston Marathon, I get to be a little part of that experience. Each of these encounters is unique and there’s no one size fits all solution to everyone’s challenges. There is a certain amount of creativity and craftsmanship that goes into the process which is something that keeps me engaged and excited to go to work every day.


My Health

I don’t shy away from my struggles with anxiety, depression and self-image. Running has given me the courage and confidence to get out the door every morning even when I don’t want to. A lot of people start running for the physical health benefits and I was also one of those people. I find that people stay in running for the daily ritual and how it serves to recalibrate the day. There’s a saying “you’ll never regret going for a run, but you’ll regret not going.” I thank running for being my North Star this year.

My Team

I call my running friends my team. Us runners are athletes, and anyone we train with is a teammate that’s pushing us to be a little better every outing. I thank the Taco Tuesdays with Confluence Running, the Jaime Group Runs with the ORC (and every one of those hilly courses), the many laps around the oval with the Burke Catholic Eagles, and everyone I’ve shared a run with this year. You all have inspired me and kept me moving. As much as you can, and sometimes must, go at it alone in running, when you can form a team around you everyone benefits. 


Ways to Pay it Back

Show up to the local Races

We all love races, however we are seeing a dip in race morale. Being a race director is tough, and I give anyone hosting a race a lot of credit and respect. I think we can do a better job as a running community promoting and attending local races regularly. Things like registering early, offering to volunteer, and sharing races on your social media can mean the difference of your favorite race going off every year or not.


Be a role model for the younger generations

I’ve been a high school and middle school coach for a long time, and there’s nothing better than seeing the kids out there running and competing. Kids need positive role models in their life more than ever. I encourage every runner find sometime this year to help at a local camp, maybe take a family member on a weekend run, even get your certifications and become a high school coach.

Get more teammates

Call your friends for a long run, join a running club, and pop into the local running store (I know one) and get other runners on your sidelines. These people need you as much as you need them. Create your running team for next year to smash your goals and keep you pushing forward!

I wish everyone a happy, healthy, and safe end to 2022. I hope you can take a few minutes to do a little check in and come up with some things to be grateful for this year. I’ll see everyone out on the roads, trails and track next year. As always, if you want to talk running, you know where to find me.

November 07, 2022 — Justin D

Leave a comment

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published.