ONE MAY GO A LONG WAY AFTER ONE IS TIRED -French proverb
There is no doubt, we learn the most about ourselves during those times in which we fight through adversity. My lessons came on a beautiful, crisp Sunday morning in New Orleans, La. as I was willing my body through a 13.1 jaunt around the city. If you really want to get picky, those true defining moments actually occurred during miles 11-13.1….that point when it would have been so easy to just stop and walk instead of willing my legs through every stride that remained.
No one would have questioned my reasoning. After all, I spent the past year in rehab due to my injury roller coaster. First a herniated disc, then 2 months later a torn hamstring. Hell, this time last year I couldn’t even walk, much less run. So no one ..not 1 single soul, would have judged me if I walked a little bit to the finish line. Ahhhh…but how would I judge myself??
So this was the game I played with my psyche for the final 18 minutes of the race. Who was going win? My body or my spirit? AquaDoc says he never doubted my ability or sheer determination to run across that finish line. But then he didn’t see me pull up to that final aid station around mile 12 and attempt to beat my quads into submission….all while cussing them out for rebelling on race day, when they had been so submissive during training….it was not a pretty sight at all.
In the end, mind over matter became my reality. I ran through the finish line in 2:07:33. Not bad considering how I spent the last year and with only a single 5k under my belt (since returning to the race circuit this past December) to boot.
Most importantly, I came away with some very valuable lessons:
Incase I had forgotten, I was reminded that AquaDoc is a keeper. He not only walked me 1.5 miles to the start then 1.5 miles back to the condo, he walked 3.5-4 miles from the condo to the finish line with BoyGenius (who, BTW, was highly annoyed there was no WiFi at the finish). AquaDoc truthfully did more hobbling than walking because he has a torn meniscus right now and is not ambulating as well as he’d like. His effort and enthusiasm for my undertaking, despite his injury and constant pain, taught me tons. I hope if I am ever injured again (curses!!!!) I can live up to his example. But remember, the bar was set REALLY, REALLY, REALLY high!!! just sayin’…
I also realized that the statement, “it hurts a lot up to a point, then it doesn’t hurt anymore”, is actually a highly accurate assessment.
Seeing all the participants and everyone’s individual struggles and personal motivators, I learned that ALL roads are long, regardless of where they are headed… and getting to that destination sometimes hurts…. but once you make it….the reward is so worth it.
This is what it’s all about…Good Times!
This is me and one of my dearest friends for over 30 years….we finished within a minute of each other and somehow, with no preplanning, both landed at family reunion letter “Q”…AquaDoc says it’s a fate/ karma thing and I’m gonna believe he’s spot on because he is one smart man… and besides I am always up for some fate and karma (only the good kind) in my life!!!
On that note, its time to get back in the pool…its Tri Season!
Swim Happy, My Friends!