A Long Time Coming
A year ago I was sitting on the train in Chicago and having a nervous breakdown, which had been going on for about a week. My boyfriend had moved and I was a bit shaken with where I was going in my life. I had a job that I really didn’t like and stress that was just eating at me. I needed a challenge. I needed a new goal.
I had a memory hit me when I was on the train. I’m 21 years old and it is 2002. I am volunteering at the Chicago Marathon. I was volunteering at the end of the race and moved by seeing all of the runners cross the finish line. At that time, I was woefully evil to my body as most college students are. I decided I was going to run a marathon…someday.
My attempts at running failed…but I kept that light shining. I kept the hope that one day I could push myself to be one of those girls who would run NYRR races on the weekends and get medals. Somehow 2008 was the year I would put that into motion.
I went home to Arizona soon after I saw the boyfriend and on that visit I told my mother “we are running a half marathon” even though I had managed to only really run for 15 minutes on the treadmill. She was excited for it and we both trained and ran the PF Chang’s Half-Marathon in Phoenix last January. It was rough, I was very emotional and not sure that I could keep running…but I did. I ran 10 New York Road Runner Races on my weekends in New York, giving up drinking and late nights for healthy food and morning lattes and brunch with my friends Clive and David. I qualified for my second marathon even though I had barely started training for my first.
I quit my job. I lost some weight. I got a new job that I’m in love with and finally singed up for a wine school that I had looked at for 3 years in hopes of getting my sommelier’s license. I saw friends get married and have babies and I got back in touch with what I am capable of as a slow but steady runner. I found that I am the only one in charge of my strength, my body and my life choices.
A long time ago when I was in a production of “Annie” my mother gave me a button that said, “Life is Not a Dress Rehearsal.” Enjoy this moment for this moment is your life.
I may have a rough time tomorrow. I may be slow and doubt myself at certain points but I have made that choice in my life to not run away from those things that scare me. Sometimes you gotta just do it and believe that the journey will be worth it.
Good luck to everyone running tomorrow. I’m lucky to be running in such amazing company. Thanks to my friends and family for being so supportive and my amazing boyfriend. Thanks to my cyber twitter friends that have given me amazing advice and most importantly thanks to Clive and David that taught me how to run and like it!
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