Sunday, March 3, 2013

Dear Jeff (Marathon Edition)

About a year ago I wrote a letter to myself when I started training for my first half marathon.  I wrote that letter when I started the journey, and it was to be read again when I crossed the finish line.  It provided me with strength, inspiration, and pride.  A year ago, I would have called you crazy if you said I would even consider running a marathon.  It was never more than a fleeting thought.  Never more than an unrealistic possibility.

But here I am, 3 months away from my first marathon.

And I'm writing a new letter to myself.  Some same thoughts from the original letter.  Some tweaked thoughts.  Some new thoughts.

To be read on June 2nd.

Dear Jeff,

I want you to take a few minutes and reflect on what you just accomplished.

Over the past 5 months, you ran over 400 miles. Put that in perspective. You ran from Minneapolis to Chicago. From NYC to Toronto. From San Francisco to LA. You went out running in snow, in rain, in cold, in heat - and the pavement became your best friend.

You thought about your future, you thought about your past. You shared stories you've never told anyone. You've recalled memories you've long forgotten. You've spent countless hours pushing yourself so you can reach a goal you set for yourself, but never knew you'd obtain.

You just crossed the finish line of your first marathon!

There have been so many people in your life that have said you can't do it. People have put you into categories because of your weight, and they placed limits on you. Doctors have told you that you shouldn't be running. Time and time again, you have been told to quit. But you didn't listen.

Instead, you listened to your friends and family that always believed in you. You clung onto the words of inspiration. You turned to them when you wanted to give up on yourself. They wouldn't let you quit. They wouldn't let you fail.

Now, every time you look at your medal, I want you to think of the journey you just had - all of the pain, anxiety, joy, and success - and I want you to smile. Because when it was looking like you wanted to throw in the towel, sit on the couch, take a day off, and take the easy way out... you didn't. You earned this, and nobody can take it away from you.

Every voice that has told you you can't is now silenced.  The noise you hear is the love and support from the amazing people in your life.  You have conquered something that most people will never do in their lifetime.  You are part of a small percentage that can call themselves a marathoner.  Only few have gone through the agony, pain, excitement, and joy that you just went through.

In the moment you crossed the finish line, you left every doubt, fear, and worry behind you.  You can never go back to the person you were before the moment you crossed that line.  You are now changed forever.  

In that one moment, you have shown that anything is possible.

...and I am SO proud of you.

1 comment:

  1. I love this idea. I think I'm going to steal it for my next one. :)