Sunday, June 17, 2012

This Race Is Not For The Swift

I completed my first marathon today. Six months ago when we (my family) realized it would take place on the anniversary of my grandmother's death, we decided we would all train independently and run it together. We set up a group website to support and encourage each other. It was laced with beautiful images of my grandmother and our family from throughout years.
Our lovely matriarch 
As months passed, the group began to waiver in their commitment. Life is busy and complicated for all of us. We're scattered all over the state. Most of us are parents and or spouses. Life happens. With four children and a hard working busy husband my ability to train was unstable and it stalled a couple of times. In these last weeks, I knew that it was going to be a combination of prayer, faith, honor, love, and good old fashioned determination that was going to have to propel me over the finish line.
My running shoes

 I was going to do this race even if I had to run it alone. If I had to stop and sit in someone's lawn chair for a rest, I was going to finish this race. If I walked the whole way and the stadium was locked by the time I got there, I was going to get it done! Somewhere along the way my motivation had changed. My purpose became selfish. For the first time in a long time, I was doing something for myself. I blog accomplishments about our family business. I blog the achievements of my children. I am connected to those accolades. I work hard to ensure the success of my family. For once I needed something more. I needed a PERSONAL accomplishment. I needed to do something important and impressive just for me.
Hiking over to the start of the race

What started as 8 participants dwindled to 2 marathoners. My sister made the four hour 240 mile drive. In talking to her, I realized we were on the same page. She was looking at this marathon as a pivotal point for change in her life also. There were moments along the route we were held hands and encouraged each other. However, we were in this for independent personal reasons.
I spotted my family with about a mile to go

As I approached the finish line, I heard the announcer call my name. I owned that moment. I savored those few precious seconds. It felt so much better than I even anticipated. I am not fueled or motivated by looking at what's on the other side of the fence. I like my yard. I spend a lot of time trying to figure out how I can be better and give more. I want to leave a positive impact on those around me. I am my own worst critic, and for today I was also my best and loudest cheerleader.
Crossing the finish line!

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