Thursday, June 20, 2013

It's a Major Award!

I've started reading Bea Johnson's Zero Waste Home, and one of her major principles, and the one she says most people have a hard time with is refusing things.  Everyone loves a freebie, but often freebies are cheaply made, break easily and do nothing but clutter up your home.  I'm re-inventorying all of my stuff and trying to get rid of things that don't really serve any purpose, and I keep coming back to one thing--racing medals.

I ran my first 1/2 marathon in 2007 and was rewarded with a hideous Donald Duck medal that I had no idea what to do with.  So I gave it to my dad, and it's in storage in Minnesota.
Since that time, I've run 14 more 1/2 marathons and accumulated 15 more medals (I got a bonus medal last year for running the Triple Crown), and I really don't know what to do with those either.  I had been hanging them on the corner of a shelf--just in a big pile,and adding more and more.  I never look at them, I never do anything with them, but the thought of not having them seemed just wrong to me somehow.  I earned them, after all.

But when you think about it, I've earned a lot of things over the years that I no longer have.  I didn't keep my trophies from elementary school basketball, my Girl Scout badges or my figure skating costumes.  If I was proudly displaying these medals, it would be one thing, but the fact that I acquire at least four new ones a year makes the thought of doing something with them arduous and overwhelming.  Plus, I'm not crafty and don't really care for knick-knacks.

So why keep them?

So far, the only reason I've kept them is because I have the odd attachment that I earned them.  I feel like getting rid of them undermines my accomplishments, but then I look at them (and I can't even see them right now because they're packed somewhere still) and I feel a little rush of pride.  Does that make it worth hanging onto them?  I matted and framed all my diplomas, aren't these a kind of sporty diploma?

Other running bloggers have talked about this problem, and some runners save EVERYTHING from their races:
I remember my father going through the same thing once he had pile of medals and didn't know what to do with them.  He eventually mounted them on some kind of board, and it took four boards to hold them all.  Then, when he moved into their current house, he, like me (so far), just never unpacked them.

There's a charity called Medals for Mettle, which re-gifts race medals to children and adults who are battling debilitating illnesses in recognition of their mettle and perseverance, and I've often thought I should give my medals to them.  But I haven't.  Presently my diplomas are tucked away in a closet, just like my medals, so do either of them have actual worth to me, or would the medals bring me more happiness if I gave them away?

Do you have any particular items that seem to have a hold on you?  Is it because these are something I feel like I've won, or does my reluctance to get rid of them just mean that I should stop considering it?


  1. Melt them down and make a crown for Watson.

  2. You're gonna love Portugal! It's so sunny and the waves are amazing :Dmore