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  • Writer's pictureThomas Paquette

Believing in yourself can make all the difference

“Good morning, Thomas! It’s time to lace your Nikes up and go for a run!”

OK, Alexa! I just need to find a clean pair of running shorts ... I should have folded my laundry. It would make finding things so much easier in this bedroom of mine.

“Alexa, what is the weather outside?”

“This morning in Keene, NH, it is 4 degrees, with a high of 24 degrees, with intermittent clouds!”

Gosh, darn it! Where are my tights? Got them, check. Ah, a fresh pair of socks, lovely! Now which hat should I wear this morning? I’ll wear my new pom pom beanie hat. Those seem to be all the rage these days. Found my favorite warm top, though it was at the bottom of the hamper — it’s clean, I swear! Let me grab some warm mittens. I don’t want my fingers to freeze.

Fully adorned in my running armor, I quickly jump on my bed to read a magazine Nike running ad I had cut out from years ago. It reads, “Running never takes more than it gives back. Believe in the run.”


I open the door, and there’s a stiff rush of air that hits my cheeks and crawls up my nose, instantly making my eyes water. Ah, winter running. I can see the sun starting to make its way up over Beech Hill. If I time this perfectly, I’ll be able to see it rise right over the hill as I exit Woodland Cemetery. There’s a glistening of frost, sparkling off the trees, as I head my way down South Lincoln Street. I wave to the kids at the bus stop.

“How far today, Thomas?”

“Just an easy 3 miles this morning!”

Woodland Cemetery always has the sense of peace, calmness and solitude that transcends me. The Sumner Knight Chapel stands perched on top of the hill. It’s a hill numerous Clarence DeMar marathoners disdain, yet bask in its glory as they conquer it, finally believing, “Okay, today I won’t be needing someone to dig my grave today.”


As I make my way toward the other side of the cemetery, the sun is making its way up over Chapman, shining over this wonderful town I call home. The leaves remaining from the fall crunch beneath my moving feet. All of a sudden, the 4-degree morning seems like a warm summer day. I can feel its rays run through my body, as if I had just had a steaming cup of hot chocolate. In this moment, I could not think of anything more divine. Joy was reflected in my face. I was smiling from ear to ear. All by myself.


Running has never taken anything from me. It is constantly giving. Running has given me confidence, courage and belief. Belief that anything is possible, even during the hardest of times. It has brought people together in times of need, and times of joy. During every run, I reminisce, ponder, question, even have full conversations with myself, but end with a sense of belief. Belief that things happen for a reason. That maybe I won’t reach my goal the first time, or ever, and that’s OK, too. That I am here to help those who need my help. That maybe, just maybe, I have learned more from those I have coached than from my own running.

As we enter a new year, a new slate, I ask you to make a promise. To believe — believe that you are doing good for yourself and others. That your resolutions aren’t changes but goals that will make you better. Go even further, and not just make yourself better, but others better as well. Believe that whatever decisions you make, paths you take, people you meet, you will always give back more than take.

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