The first freaking time! Also known by cool kids as FFT’s. I vividly remember the first time that I felt the anxiety of doing something new for the first time. For some this feeling is mild and doesn’t impact them as much. For others doing something for the first time can be completely overwhelming.
Let me set the stage. It is the night before the first day of school in 5th grade. Kindergarten through 4th grade I attended a small elementary school in Otho (O-tho), Iowa. There were thirteen kids in my class which meant I was a big fish in a little pond. Where I grew up 5th and 6th graders attended a middle school and 7th and 8th graders attended junior high school. This meant the next day I would board a bus to a transfer station, switch to a different bus and start school with a much larger class. On this night, I was feeling, what for me is sometimes overwhelming anxiety, of doing something new for the first time.
So how did I face it?
My sister Christine is nine years older than me. As a kid she was a really big deal to me. She did everything for the first time and from my perspective made it all look really easy. If you know her, you know that she is very comfortable center stage. To me Christine was a lot more like Uncle Jesse (yes that is a Full House reference – deal with it) than a typical sister (I had my other sister Becky to fill that role in my life). Christine was cool. She played multiple instruments in band (and yes – in our house that is super cool), she performed in theatre and had all the style for days (I’m tempted to share some senior pictures). She also thought I was cool. She would show me off to her friends, include me whenever she could and even snuck me into local college basketball games with the pep-band.
Even though Christine was a sophomore in college when I was preparing for 5th grade she still lived at home and her room was right next to mine. After tossing and turning for hours, the only two people awake in our house on this night were Christine and myself. I got out of bed, stumbled into her room and explained to her how nervous I was to go to a new school for the first freaking time. To my sister’s credit, she was awesome that night. She listened to me and validated my fears. She gave great advice and comforted me. After this late night chat I was able to sleep easy, embraced going to school and took those lessons with me for the next several years to come as we moved states and I grew into a young adult.
The best part of all of this is that Christine doesn’t remember any of it. I’ve brought it up before and she seems truly surprised that she had any influence on me growing up. That in-and-of-itself is a valuable lesson. I’m pretty sure that most people are not cognizant of when they are having an influence on others. That can be good and bad. In this case it was awesome because I really did have a family TV moment with my sister that was Full House worthy.
Over the past couple of years we have experienced several FFT moments. Living through a global pandemic for example is an FFT. You can see that we all handle these situations differently. The emotional response to an FFT is totally different from person-to-person as well. In general though I think seeking out FFT moments in life can be truly rewarding. Every runner had to start somewhere, which means every runner has had an FFT moment or two.
We are quickly closing in on the end of the year. At 605 Running Company we have some big plans for 2022. The Sioux Falls Skedaddle will take place April 23rd & 24th. For the first freaking time we have added an additional race to the Skedaddle weekend called The Zippy Mile. We understand that running can be intimidating and scary. That is why for our race weekend we are working so hard to make our experience first time friendly. We want our races to be your first races. We celebrate first time half marathoners with our first time runner reception at the 60.5 Move Expo. This includes a unique designation on your race bib and creates an environment where all runners are seen, heard and accepted. We added The Zippy Mile as a hyper approachable way for all to participate during race weekend. Run or walk it is all good to us. We just want to see as many people participate as possible. For those of you that have done Skedaddle before, new this year is the Queen Bee Challenge. Run both The Zippy Mile plus The Skedaddle Half Marathon to earn an additional medal. This means that everyone in Sioux Falls can experience an FFT with us during Skedaddle weekend!
We have had a wonderful year at 605 Running Company and we truly value every single one of our patrons. On behalf of my team we would like to wish you all Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and enjoy a Wonderful New Year!
Register for the Sioux Falls Skedaddle here!
Greg Koch is the Co-Owner and General Manager of 605 Running Company and Co-Produces the Sioux Falls Skedaddle Half Marathon. He serves on the Board of Directors for Downtown Sioux Falls, the 605 Race Crew and the Sioux Falls Area Running Club. When Greg isn’t with his family or working he enjoys being outside biking, kayaking, golfing or comping.
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