What is integrity?

At the beginning of the year, I set a goal of walking five 5Ks in 2020.  I’ve actually had that same goal for the past five years and accomplished it each year.

The year started out right – I did my first 5K on Jan. 1 and had registered for a couple more by early February.  And then COVID-19 took over the world and everything got cancelled.  But the race organizers, quick to keep their communities engaged, moved the events to virtual races.  Meaning they’d send you your runner’s number, t-shirt and medal and you could do the race any time, anywhere.

I did my first virtual event in March.  My sister and I registered for two more.  My folks wanted in on it, too, so we registered with them for a third one.

Sandy has been in town for the last few weeks; we decided that we’d do one of the races we signed up for while she was here. With temps hitting 110+ we knew we would have to get up early to beat the heat. And when that alarm went off at 4:20 a.m., we grumbled a little bit at how early it was, but got out of bed, laced up our walking shoes, put the leashes on the dogs and got out the door.

The event with our folks was an Independence Day themed race. We decided to do that one on July 4 in a mall.  I bought us red, white and blue masks to wear.

The feeling of accomplishment when no one is watching.

Who would know if we did the race?  We had already gotten our t-shirts and medals. There was no way to prove we did it.  We could take a couple photos with our medals and call it a day.

But we would know – and that’s where integrity comes in.  We had made the commitment to do the race and we were going to do it.  How could we possibly wear the t-shirt or proudly display the medal if we didn’t actually do the race?

Just like in business.  You do the right thing, even if no one knows it but you.

I’ve completed my goal of five races for the year and have registered for another four that I’ll complete before the end of year.  A sense of accomplishment for sure, with my integrity intact.

A medal is nice but earning it with integrity is better.
Written by
at Jul 22, 2020

Share this article