I’ve been in this house for 10 years now. We were the third home in the West Bay Woods subdivision, there are several hundred now. Quite the experience watching the neighborhood mature. Very similar to the Omaha running community. It has grown by leaps and bounds over the last decade. Ten years in Omaha gives me enough perspective to have some pretty solid opinions, most of which have been expressed previously in this column.
I think about how brash I was when I first arrived in Omaha. Insisting that there was a vibrant, if unserved/underserved community of runners in the Metro. How rude I must have seemed in describing my vision of what it could and should be. I butted heads with almost everyone, burning some bridges along the way, making a few lifelong nemesis. Several of those cats will still tell you They Know Me Better than you do, and don’t let me fool you. What a bunch of hooey. They are outside looking in, reveling in their drama de jour, no nearer to really knowing me than the man in the moon.
Along the way I’ve rebuilt every bridge that was worth rebuilding. And made some lifelong friends. But not alone. It has taken the time and effort and talent of dedicated athletes to show that group centered training can elevate the best of the best. It has taken a dedicated TNB Road Race Management Committee to build a product that sets the bar for excellence in running and racing in Nebraska. If I was the loudest and most demanding for change, it is others that have taken up the call and made the difference. When I look at the level of competition, improved ameneties and novel races that have become part of the local calendar I can take some pride in knowing it was our TNB RRM visionaries that kick started the change. Chief among them Bruce & Linda Barnhart, Jordan Tucker, Jody Green, and Mike Reilly.
I’ll do some more reflecting this week, there has been a tremendous amount of good and also many lessons learned for me.