As I sit relaxing on the eve of the Ottawa Race Weekend 2014 my mind is on all those that are hopefully sleeping on the eve of their marathons. Many for their very first ones. I’m happy and so excited for them!
My thoughts are also reflecting on what was to be the first of two that I had planned on running, Ottawa and then 1 week later Calgary. After being injured and placed in an aircast I knew my goal for completing the two was going to have to be pushed back, probably till the following year.
It’s not always the finish line that is most important but perhaps the journey that we are on to get there. Like in life, there can be detours, setbacks, injuries and unavoidable circumstances that cause us to be derailed or sidetracked from our original plans.
Throughout my life there have been many moments that could have derailed me and taken me down a different path, but instead I headed in a better direction. These past few years, have been especially hard with circumstances that have caused tremendous grief, pain, fear, anger, and loneliness. During that time I’ve had to re-evaluate the people in my life and what I was doing, then make choices as to how I could heal and move on in a healthy way.
Just over a year ago we were hit with some news that we thought we would never hear. My life suddenly was unrecognizable and I was in so much pain. During this time I was just beginning to train for my first marathon. My training runs became therapeutic for me and I met some amazing people who I have come to appreciate so much.
During my long runs I began to discover just what I was capable of. I could celebrate every week with new milestones and mental toughness. I began to build a bond with these once strangers that I spent much of my time with. I even was blessed with someone who I could share my heart with, freely, without fear as I had no one else to talk to and she was so faithful in being a friend.
I’ve learned that giving myself permission to do what I feel is best for me is important and I do not need to apologize if I’m not where someone thinks I should be. People have opinions, but they do not have facts. People think they can judge but they do not ask how you are or what is going on in your life. You have to choose the ones you are surrounding yourself with, find people who believe in you, build you up and encourage you so you can rise above the circumstances that sometimes are just unavoidable. Remove from your life the ones that are toxic and negative, that are holding you back or dragging you down.
I did manage to finish my first marathon, which proved to be more challenging then I had anticipated but I did it! (another story for a different post).
Some of you are running your very first marathons, perhaps some are just deciding now to train for your first marathons, congratulations either way!!! Stay focussed, trust the training and ease into life as it happens, life is really like a marathon and you just need to keep putting one foot in front of the other and try to enjoy the moments for what they can teach you, not just survive them!