I woke up that morning knowing that no matter the dreary rain, the less than stellar temperature, my lack of trust in my shoes, I was going to make it because QUITTING WAS NOT AN OPTION! This is the mantra I kept repeating over and over in my head throughout the whole half marathon race.
Did I have something to prove? Most definitely. I had to show the world, my kids, and most of all me that sometimes, life may seem difficult and our abilities may seem limited but quitting is not an option. As long as you try your best and you do the best of your ability, there is nothing that you can't do. I truly believed that on race day and I truly believe that today!
After the hubby and I dropped off the kids, we headed to Mel Lastman Square where the race was to begin. It was a very cool day at 11 degrees, and the mist felt like Niagara Falls on my face, but who knew all that weather and temperature would end up being a true blessing.
As we headed indoor at Mel Lastman square for a last bathroom break, since it would be another 21.4 kilometers before the next time I would allow myself to go, I noticed the horrendously long line ups, so my adrenaline told me it would be okay to start the race and stop along the way if needed be.
We headed outside and were wonder struck with all the people and all the excitement and all the adrenaline. We were on the cusp of starting our first race! Even though we "knew" there would be a lot of people, we had no idea what the excitement would be these thousands of people. People who wanted to be part of a day that was revered around the world. A piece of Toronto history that we would soon be a part of.
At the third kilometer mark, something magical happened. There was a HILL! A very long hill going downward, so I did what any 5 year old kid would do, I picked up my pace and sped down that awesome ash paved road toward the 4 kilometer mark. I welcomed the light wind and never ending rain in my face; only to be welcomed by a very steep up hill. Do know the saying, "what comes up must come down," well reverse that. The cruel universe decided to give me a Behemoth style uphill toward the 5 kilometer mark but as i was going up that hill I decided I was going to take my IPod out and start taking down notes. That's right I started to type running up a hill! Not an easy feat, but that hill was probably a lot shorter for me than the others panting around me because of my obsession to write my thoughts down.
As the kilometers went on, I had given myself permission to walk for a bit at the 10 kilometer mark. I had figured, by then I would have earned it. Have earned the right to take a bit of a break, grab some sweet Gatorade and fresh water until I picked up the pace again. But as I hit the 10 Kilometer mark, I felt revived, rejuvenated and a sense of rebirth if you will. I had made it! 10K down! Half way there or almost half way there. I really did have it in me to do this. I really do have the energy and the strength, both physically and mentally.
By this time I had lost the hubby, he had fallen back a while ago, leaving me to really test my mental strength and endurance. As he later text me that his knee had given out a bit and he needed to do a walk / run. He encouraged me to keep going and to have fun and enjoy the experience. He would meet me at the finish line. And I did.
By the time I got to the finish line, at 2 hours and 20 minutes, not too shabby for my first race; I was rainy wet, sweaty, tired and sore but I was excited, elated, peaceful and fortunate. Fortunate that I had the ability to move my sore stems. Fortunate that I had a viable and sane mind. Fortunate that I had the pleasure of going through this experience with one of the most important people in my life.
Race day for me was more than a run. More than a race. It was a statement to my children but more to myself.
My journey that day was a life metaphor for me. Yes the finish line was great to see, but when I actually looked up and enjoyed the beautiful scenery, I knew the finish line was within reach and it would just sweeten the pot.
That nothing is NOT within reach. No matter how big or little your dreams may be, your own self is what stands in your way. No one has the ability to take anything away from you. If you want a certain job, GO FOR IT! If you want to go to school and earn a doctorate, GO FOR IT! If you want a certain life, GO FOR IT!
Will it be easy? Probably not! but it is the journey that makes it all worthwhile. The bumps and bruises along the way that make you appreciative of what you have accomplished.
Your journey lies ahead of you, no matter what obstacle you think lies in your way. The only obstacle is you! Think of what you want, when you want it and start planning for your life, Today!