Still seeing your fitness goals as fitness opportunities? I know … it’s been a struggle. It’s now mid-March, the “season of brown and grey” as I often think of it, and we can’t seem to say bye-bye to winter. I’m not ready to take the blame for our especially icky winter weather of late, but writing a column in January, encouraging people to get out and kick it seemed to coincide with our old friend “Polar Vortex” rolling back into town. 

But I know many of you have been out there braving it, not quitting. And at last March is here, and we’ve already been greeted with more sub-zero wind chills — and this past weekend with rains and high winds. (Oy, where’s the love, Mother Nature?) How are we to keep up with, or stay on good terms with, our fitness goals, in these meh circumstances?

OK, I know my credibility here is a bit low, but truly, spring is coming. We set our clocks ahead last weekend (Yay for you evening runners, sigh for us morning folk) and we should expect, based on historical averages, highs around 47 and lows at 29 degrees through March. There … feel better?

Now as a reminder, just something to ponder as the grass begins to green up (and it will, really!). We have the 38th annual Good Life Race to look forward to — April 7 is just four weeks away, people. Good Life features separate 5K races for men and women, a 5K fitness walk, a youth mile event and the popular junior dash for the under-5 athletes. 

There’s something for everyone here. Across all events, the Good Life Race, a nonprofit event, drew nearly 1,600 registered participants last year, and the race has raised over $125,000 in just the last six years for its charitable partners: The Collaboration for Early Childhood and the Oak Park-River Forest Food Pantry.

The Good Life Race event, in addition to being a competitive CARA Circuit Race, also offers an opportunity to bring together co-workers (and their family members) with the Community Team Challenge — recruit as many teammates as you like; the top four scores are counted toward the challenge awards. You only need four team members to participate.

And more fun: the mother/daughter and father/son competitions provide a chance to race (awards based on averaging the two scores) as a family unit. More details:

Beyond the running, Good Life Race, as a community/club-run, all-volunteer event, needs lots of helpers, both before and on race day. Certainly the greatest need is for course marshals (keeping the streets cleared and the runners cheered). But if, say, you are planning to run in one of the races and you still wish to help out, there are other fun and appreciated roles to fill. Please reach out by email to: or visit this link:

I hope to see you out there, BEING THE BOSS of Oak Park’s streets, on April 7. And, I promise, NO VORTEX.

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