May 4th 2014.
To not much fanfare.. Most of the party had cleared out by the time I crossed the finish line, but my faithfuls were there.
I finished my first marathon.
My legs hurt real bad.
Like real real bad.
I kinda wanted to puke (but had already done so around mile 17) (sorry to the lady behind me at the water station)
I got my medal and started the shuffle back to the car.
"That was hard." I said between sniffles, and no lie. It was hard.
10 Things Running has taught me.. (in a ten part series) (I have a lot to say)
10. "You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think"
(My marathon mantra) (Winnie-the-Pooh) (I'm hard core like that)
At some point in life I believed I wasn't a runner. It's not like it wasn't an unfounded belief, I'm super awkward at running (think chubby t-rex).. my high-school softball coach never let me past first base.. Amber with the base hit followed by "Pinch Runner!" was the norm. (I'm not bitter, I like to win too much, we needed the runs!) I've never been one to be unrealistic about my skills.. It's cool, I'm just not a runner.
I've spent the last 18 years avoiding running at all cost. It hurts, everything jiggles, my butt ALWAYS eats my shorts, it's hard to breathe and what the heck am I suppose to do with my hands!!!!! (t-rex runners unite!)
I held tight to that belief, wore that bad boy like a badge of honor.. believing it so much that I thought it would be physically impossible for me to run more than a mile.. like ever.
Dear reader... isn't this what we do?
Take something UNFOUNDED and mold it into our actual identity? Maybe you believe you don't deserve love, or money, or health, or sobriety, or true friendship or the forgiveness of a Savior.. so when people go around being all mean you think.. "thats ok.. I don't deserve a good friend anyways".. or a happy marriage.. success.. It's what we do.. it's how we cope..
it holds us back. It held me back.
So one night really late at the Y, I upped the speed on the treadmill.. fast walk.. faster walk.. hold onto the bars.. hey look.. I'm running!! (ish).
FACTS.. I did not die, I did not fly off the back of the treadmill like some horrid youtube video.. yes it hurt, yes I jiggled, yes my butt ate my shorts.. but hey... I did it, and let me tell you it felt FANTASTIC.
And please dear reader.. listen closely here.. because here is the quiet secret I learned that late night on the treadmill.
There are few things in life MORE empowering than accomplishing something that you never ever EVER dreamed possible for yourself. That quiet late night act of defiance radically shifted my perspective on.. well.. gosh everything.
It was not long after that night, a few minutes became a mile, then 5.. then outside.. then a 5k race, then 13.1.. then 20.. then 26.2.
Maybe for you it's not running (although secretly I hope that it is).. maybe it's a relationship, a job, or forgiveness.. dear reader you really ARE stronger than seem.. braver than you believe and smarter than you think.. you can do hard things.. and when you do, you won't ever be the same.