It’s hovering, right above me, like Mike Teevee floating above Willy Wonka’s head, to remind me that in less than 2 weeks I will be running the Grand Rapids Half Marathon….yikes.
I remember back to when I first started running in July of 2014 and a 5k was difficult. And, in all honesty sometimes a 5k is still difficult. But I remember telling our “fearless leader” Michelle Staal, “um, no way am I ever going to run a 10k!”. Her response was simply, “yeah, you will”.
Never could I have foreseen triathlons, duathlons, 10k’s and now something with the word “marathon” attached to it! But it is happening. Will it be pretty? Most likely not. Will it be fast? Um, nope. That I can guarantee. Will it be life changing? I am sure it will.
I can honestly say that there is no event that I have participated in since my journey that I have not regretted doing. Now, let me be clear, there are events that I will never do again, but I don’t regret having done them. Sometimes you need to do something to see if it is what you want to continue to do. Sometimes you need to take a break to see if burn-out is attached (caringly thinking about you, Colleen). Sometimes you need to try an event to see what you are made of (hateful thinking about you, Spartan Ohio). Sometimes, you need to be out of your comfort zone to find out what you are made of (smilingly thinking about you, MiTi Duathlon).
These events have shaped me. Changed me. And they will continue to do so as I add more and more to my list of what I want to prove. Not prove to everyone else. Not prove to those who look at me and say, “you run what? At your size?” that yep, even at “my size”. But to prove to myself that the strength that is within me is immense and can radiate. Radiate to those around met that are deserving of seeing it. To those who see me break down to tears when I finish a tough event. To those who meet me at the finish to let me know it is okay to say something was hard. It was okay to have thoughts of quitting. It was okay to cry. Because, in the end, I still finished.
And whether you cross the finish line or DNF, the fact is, you did more that day than so many people keeping Art Van in business!