Monday, January 27, 2014

The last two miles

As you probably maybe seen from my Facebook profile picture, I recently found this picture in my picture archive.

This is a picture of me finishing my first marathon at the end of 2010. Only one and a half years after I started endurance sports. At the beginning of 2009, I was at 230 lbs, not in shape what so ever, in fact I had probably run for "fun" less than 10 times in my life outside of a small amount of sports. The journey to get in shape was going to be a rough one, but a journey nonetheless.

This is the untold story of my struggle the last two miles.

The last two miles of my first marathon, really made me dig deep and find who I was. It brought me to tears and almost to the point of giving up completely. I had run a solid 18 miles without stopping. the next 3 miles were a trade off of walking a quarter mile and running the last three quarters. After 21 miles, I began to struggle. Running was becoming less and walking more. At about mile 22, my brother in law started to run with me and continued to run with me for the next two miles.

At mile 24, he told me that he was going to go to the finish line to see me finish. The second he left the path, I gave up. I couldn't run anymore, tears were coming to my eyes because I knew my body was giving up on me. I wasn't taking in water anymore, I couldn't focus, I was cramping, the last 2 miles seemed longer than the first 24.

But then one of the most powerful things in the world came into play. Passion. But not the way you would expect. My mind was fried from dehydration. I really couldn't think straight enough to keep positive and move forward. Passion, in the form of a person, ran to me. They came to me and told me to start to walk, so I did. I explained to them I couldn't continue. I was done.

Then this person gave me a speech that I will always remember.. They told me that they had watched me since I first started my training, saw that I had never given up, I always pushed myself. They personally could never see themselves doing a marathon. But the fact that I was doing the marathon said a lot about my personality and my spirit. But most importantly, my family was at the finish line waiting for me. My whole family was there waiting for me to finish my goal, my dream, my passion and they were there to support me, just like they had throughout the whole training process.

These words allowed me to remember my passion, my spirit, my life and how much I needed to finish.I can't say the last two miles after that point were easy... every step I took was a test of my spirit. No matter how hard each step was though, I knew my family was waiting at the finish to share the accomplishment with me and I knew I needed to get there.

The picture above is  that expression of finishing and being able to share it with my family, pure raw passion. Among my family was the person that gave me the power to finish, my bother-in-law.

Simply put, family is important to live out your passion, whether that family is blood related or not, it just needs to be someone that cares about you enough to set you straight when life gets you down.

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