A friend asked me yesterday why I chose NYC as my first marathon. There are so many reasons, but the decision goes back many years to when I started running. I was a young mom, looking to increase my fitness, and I was on the treadmill in my bedroom on the first Sunday in November before I went to church. New York City Marathon coverage was on the morning news show. I was captivated. Soon, I began running in earnest, with the goal of NYC always in the back of my mind. I visited New York for the first time a few years later, and a bucket list item was made.
If you’re a woman, you know how dreams go. We may have dreams for ourselves, but they take second (or third) place to our families’ needs and dreams. Raising kids, taking care of elderly parents, working full time, running a business (or 2) – all those things take over our dreams, push them onto the back burner.
About four years ago, I became an empty nester. My parents still needed me, but our daughters were making their own ways, cutting those apron strings, and not needing my full attention all the time. NYC raised it’s lovely head and beckoned. This time, I followed. I started training slowly, working out with a trainer, and slowly building my mileage base. In 2010, I ran three half marathons, always with NYC in the back of my mind. I know that if I only run one full marathon, I want it to be in the Big Apple.
So, here I am. On the eve of a bucket list item that I’ve dreamed about for more years than I can even remember. I can’t remember the last time I’ve been this excited about something. Reaching out to grab a dream is a scary, exciting, mountain top high.
I’m inspired by so many things. People who overcome adversity to reach their dreams, big and small, always remind me how blessed I am. I heard a story on KLOVE today about a high school track team member who had to petition the school board to run with her classmates. Seems she has to bring a companion with her to run, her seeing eye dog. She’s blind. One of the things she said was, “When you’re blind and you’re running there is an element of fear that you’re going to fall flat on your face.” Wow. Can you imagine running in the dark? I can’t. I was inspired, but I was also humbled. This young woman has learned something that it took me many years to learn. She knows that the only limits we can’t overcome are the ones we allow to defeat us. The only thing that keeps us from running farther or faster is the belief that we can’t.
So, reach for your dreams. Don’t let your fears, adversity, or the day to day things that life throws at you stop you from accomplishing all that God expects of you and wants for you. He is our seeing eye dog. The One who runs with us in the dark. And, dream big.