I am not one who likes to dwell on the past. But there are times in which I think it's important we reflect on past events, just to gage progress or even find some gratitude.
Today was the Flying Pig Marathon and Half Marathon. I did the half. In pouring rain. In 1:33.44, with which I'm quite satisfied. What I find more satisfying is that my feet are in pain. And my hips ache. And, well, I got to race.
I was running errands yesterday, feeling the nerves creep in, when I remembered back to a year ago and what I was doing then. I was slated to run the full Pig. But that didn't happen. I ended up getting really sick. And I was in the ER the Saturday before the race. In that instant, the nerves diminished and I was overcome with gratitude.
I can recall my dad being devastated, but also telling me that he didn't know how, but he just knew I would come out of that stronger. And in the last year, I've come to really appreciate the people that truly care about me, in a way I never knew before. I've come to find my real friends.
There have been highs and lows scattered about over the past year, but there's something to be said about going through something you really think might break you...and coming out on the other side. I'm, in no way, saying I'm some superstar. There are those who have seen tragedy I can only imagine. I'm simply saying there are events that occur that can really put things into perspective. It's not always about how fast a race is run. Or how many hours go into training. Or where we rank on the finish line. Sometimes, it's just getting across that finish line that is so gratifying. And sometimes, I'm actually grateful for those dreadful, painful, gut-busting experiences...because they build character. And strength. And they provide a very wild ride. Because at the bottom of every valley is an incline to get out. And once you've stumbled and rolled down that hill, kicking and screaming and crying, thinking your spirit is broken, never to be recovered, you find you actually have the strength to pick yourself back up and charge the hill.
So, today's race was one that didn't really matter for the books. It was one that was wet. And rough. for everyone. And it was one I was glad to be able to do. Even with the downpour and lightning, I never once thought of skipping it or sleeping in. What we do is a priviledge. Making it hurt, putting in the hours on the road and in the water and on the saddle are things we get to do. And today, I was grateful just to do that.
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