Monday, October 4, 2010

Adrenaline Rush

There are those who live their lives on the edge, teetering between life and death because they feel more alive in that space than with both feel on the ground. That, for them, is the thrill of living. They thrive on gulping down fear like a bucket of water after three days in the desert. They refuse to live life abstemiously.

I take a different perspective. For me, the thrill of living life does not come in leaping off of cliffs or hurling myself out of a plane, rather it comes from stretching. I have always considered myself rubber; someone who always has room to grow and improve. Ever since I can remember, I have taken living life quite seriously; after all, what you do in this life determines your eternity. That's not to say that I don't have fun, but actions and words should require reflection and deliberation rather than leaving it to chance or whim.

C ran a marathon this weekend. He'd hiked a huge mountain three days earlier and could barely walk the day before. He had only run fifteen miles prior to the race, and yet there he was, looking strong and amazing, and not just looking strong, but BEING strong! He finished with flying colors, 22nd in his division when he'd hoped to be in the top 25. There's nothing like achieving a goal unless you get to see the love of your life achieve a goal. I was undeniably proud of him for pushing through the pain and pulling out a personal best time. Nicely done, you sexy athlete, you!

Attending a marathon event is unlike any other event, except maybe graduation with a Master's degree or a Doctorate. The feeling in the air is tangible. Normal, everyday people have trained their bodies to do something spectacular, and they are here at the culminating event with bells on.

I have run in several races, but a marathon isn't just a race. It is endurance, stamina, mental power, losing toenails, getting-chaffed-so-bad-that-you-almost-worship-your-body-glide-stick, a true athlete's event. Speaking of Body Glide, I cannot truly describe what it is like to finally learn that there is something that can help with those friction points. Let's just say you NEVER share your stick with anyone else...

We ran into several friends the night before the race at the pasta dinner and they all asked me if I was running, too. Argh! I so wish I was! I wanted to drop everything and start training again! Still, it was nice to have some friendly faces around who knew us and could share in the excitement with us.

With races that are closer to home, I like to put up encouraging messages and notes to keep C motivated. At Mile 23, I found a loverly man who was writing chalk notes on the road. I asked if I could write a few as well, and he generously offered me as much chalk as I wanted:

I also wrote a few more, including, "Enjoy the Journey," because I decided that I wanted to enjoy running the race, and not just finishing it. I focussed on taking in the entire experience of my race, the people chatting, the little girl crying out, "Way to go, Mom!" and running along side her for a mile or so, the people cheering, that red bronco with music blaring, the farm animals, the sun filtering through the shadows... I look back and think of the race, not the finish line, and that is a beautiful memory (except for the last three miles, when I kept telling C, "Say something happy. I need happy thoughts.").

Way to go, C, for being amazing in every way, and good luck on your first day at the new job! You will rock!!! Oh, and my adrenaline rush? I guess that will have to wait for another day...

1 comment:

  1. My dad's running the Dublin marathon at the end of the month - his 10th year running! At the moment I'm just a spectator but I made the mistake of telling him I wanted to run a marathon before I turned 30. He shook on it - which gives me 5 years to start training and finish a race!! I admire anyone who can finish a marathon - I can't even start one! ha ha!


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