Back at the Starting Line

At long last, the marathon is tomorrow. The wonderful, terrible, glorious distance I’ve finally clawed my way back to. 

Approximately 10,000 of us will be running on the same course, but we took 10,000 unique paths to the starting line. Some of the runners are professional athletes who have trained at an elite level few of us can fathom. Some runners are brand new to the sport completing their very first marathon. Some are running for charity. Some are running for fun. 

All of us are running because we can. We’re alive and strong, and we’ve decided this matters. 

Over the last few years, I’ve slowly but surely rebuilt my strength, and for this marathon training cycle in particular, I’ve put in the work. I’m as ready as possible, but there will inevitably be miles when the distance feels unconquerable. I’ll want to quit and I’ll almost certainly cry. In these moments, I’ll need to pull from the last few years and remember how badly I wanted this. I wanted this specific pain because on the other side of it is a specific type of joy. 

There’s no way to know how my brain or body will cooperate tomorrow, but the fact that I never gave up and am showing up at the starting line healthy, I’ve already won.

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