For the past few months it seems like running races was the main event around here. And although I am no Matt Novakovich (who now holds the Skinny Mini Sub-5)...I do get my inspiration from my amazing brother!
It has been an amazing "run" the past few months. This marathon go 'round was different with the added opportunity to raise money and run in honor of Brittany Leap who suffers from NBIA. Running for someone who not only can't run but can't live without the constant care from her parents or nurses humbled me.
We have had some challenges of our own at the Porter House. And although there were days where life seemed a bit too hard to bear, I knew I was strong enough. Seeing Brittany's mom with gloves on ready to fight the fight for her daughter...gave me strength. Having my dear friend Erin see her young husband suffer from brain cancer while caring for a newborn gave me strength. BethAnn, who also suffers from brain cancer, running marathons, finishing Ironmans and raising tremendous amounts of money and awareness gave me strength.
We all are given our challenges and expected to fight. Are we ready with gloves on? Do we have our friends and family in our corner giving us a last minute squeeze on the shoulder and bits of advice? Have we prepared previously with faith planted solid in the ground that we can win the fight? And when things get so hard that you might think you can't take another "punch," do you muster the strength to stand firm?
I think you do.
Now that the marathon is over, I can simply run. And last weekend, our school sponsered a little 5k in our neighborhood. I was hoping to have a couple of my children run with me...but I couldn't seem to get anyone on board. But luckily the speedy neighbor boy, Jackson was planning on running and asked if I would run with him as a pacer. I thought that would be fun...to try to keep up with him that is.
So I ran another race...began another "fight." This fight was completely voluntary but remarkably similiar to how life's battles seem to go.
Thankfully, each of our trials do come with a finish line. It us up to us get ourselves there. Sometimes it is a quick fight. Other times they seem to drag on and on with no end in sight (kind of like a marathon). But we all know there is an end to every race...a Finish Line!
When the race starts, everyone seems to be strong. Some even feel so good they start out at a pace that is much too fast and can hurt them in the end. It is important to run your race not someone else's.
Each step takes you closer to the finish. Having someone to run with keeps you on track.
Our friends cheer and give us the final words of encouragement before we hit the final half mile. At this point we are tired (especially after conquering a long uphill battle...sometimes our "race" has battles within the battle) and giving our race everything we have...or at least what we think we have.
I tell Jackson at this point to go on without me. He is trying to catch a boy just yards ahead. I don't need to catch him...it isn't necessary for my race. And besides, I couldn't if I wanted to. He has more to give in his race.
It is the final moments of the race before we see the finish line. We all know exactly where it is. We are all tired. We can hear the crowds cheering for us. They have been waiting (in this picture you can see finishers number 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6...I had no idea that girl and my competition was that close!).
One more crest to reach the finish. The final push. There is no way you will slow now...the finish is right there. But it is at this point of the race, it where you hurt the most.
I am thinking, drive forward, be strong, finish the race...heck, win it!
Rounding the corner, I see the finish line. I see Garth. I see friends.
My moment of pain is coming to an end. I give the final seconds all I have, pushing my body even harder.
And although Jackson and I do not finish together, we both finished the race we started.
It is a wonderful feeling knowing you pushed yourself as hard as it could be pushed. It is an even better feeling knowing you won. That is the main reason I love to run, everyone is a winner. Whatever time you cross the finish, is your winning time! Everyone is given the same race course, it is up to each of us to finish...and finish strong!