This past Saturday was one of the better days of my life. I ran a 13.1 mile marathon. I don't say that lightly. It took me a good deal of training and mental fortitude to make it. I blogged about it constantly. When I lined up amongst the 15,000 other runners I felt calm and peaceful and not worried at all. I was too caught up in the moment watching the fireworks and listening to the sounds around me. I had never experienced this before and wanted to enjoy it all.
I knew I wanted to do three things. The first was to finish the race. The second was to finish without stopping to walk. The third was to not be too serious and enjoy it. I was able to do all three.
It was difficult. This was my first long distance run of my life. I am 42 years old. My knees are not what they used to be. My arches are flat. 18 months ago I could barely run 200 ft at any given time. On top of all of these things I couldn't give up the goal.
During the race, I thought a lot about my goals and my dreams. I thought about what inspired me to this day. I thought about all of the things I have been putting off because of lack of confidence. (I also thought about the huge pizza I was going to eat after I finished but that is besides the point). I promised myself that when I cross that finish line I am going to continue toward my goals more aggressively. I am going to remember this day if I get down in my confidence. I will be able to say "I ran a half marathon."
When I crossed the finish line I cried out of excitement for doing something I really never imagined myself doing. This was my gold medal day. I relished in it. I thanked God for it. I remembered all of the people who are no longer here who would be proud of me. I called my Dad on the phone and told him I finished. I thanked and hugged and kissed everyone who supported me.
At the end of the night when I dragged my tired body into bed, I sat alone and congratulated myself because I surely deserved it.