Before that moment, other marathoners had told me it would change my life and I wasn’t exactly sure what they meant. I was a little worried it would mean a double knee replacement surgery at age 25 or perhaps a foot amputation… Thankfully neither of those seem to have been true (although the knees have a personality all their own so I shouldn’t tempt them…) Anyway, now that I’m about to embark on my third marathon this Sunday, I’ve done a lot of thinking about what this race has done to and for me…
Given me a new sense of self
Most of you know I started running mainly as a coping mechanism for all that had gone on when Damian was first born. It definitely helped with that, and I don’t know where I would be without running (and friends and family and my faith.) But running has also given me the ability to have confidence in myself in a way I had never had before. I had set my mind to do something difficult and I did it. I had worked towards a goal and completed it. I saw myself change, and as I crossed the finish line at Disney a year ago, I knew I had left a part of me 26.2 miles behind. Of course I still have doubts and fears, but the marathon showed me that I have the will to continue when everything else says to quit. It showed me my own strength and determination, and for that, I will always be grateful.
Created a lifelong hobby
I’ve been saying all along that this Disney marathon may be my last for awhile–that I’d like to start running shorter distances again, maybe focus on breaking a 25 min 5k. Recently I’m not so sure anymore. It’s probably just all the excitement of the approaching race day, but I love the challenge it provides. I love the wall. I love running with other people–giving and getting encouragement as we all make this journey. And this time, I’m going to be with so many people making their first marathon. It’s going to be great to see them finish! So even if I do take some time off from marathoning, I know I have found a lifelong hobby in running. I love the community. I love the races. And I really love Biofreeze
Let me see that people are good
This is not something I expected out of running, but I’m happy to say it has made me realize that we are all actually good people. Sure there’s probably a bad egg among us here and there, but on the whole, we’re pretty good. I never thought we would raise over $7000 in about a year for Smith Lemli Opitz research. I never thought I’d meet anyone else with a child with Biliary Atresia, let alone race in a 5k with a bunch of family and friends to help find a cure. And I never imagined that in one year Team Damian would have grown from 2 to 12. But all this happened, and it happened because one day my best friend and I said “Hey, you wanna run a marathon?”
In a few short days, I will get to tackle this race again. I’m a different runner and a different person than the one who first stood at that start line a year ago today. But I know that no matter what happens on race day, I have had an incredible year! Thank you to all of you who have supported us through your time running with us, your donations, or just your loving support. You’ve made this a great year and I love you all! And for all of you out there wondering what you can do… There’s still time left to donate to help us reach our goal!! We are 95% of the way there!!!! SO CLOSE and we only have until Sunday! So please, every dollar counts!
Stay tuned for posts from Disney! We’ll be at the Magic Kingdom on Friday, doing the Half Marathon on Saturday, and the Marathon on Sunday. I’ll try to post from my phone as often as I can, but follow me on Twitter and Instagram for race updates on the big day!!
Thanks again to all of you. No seriously. Thank you!