A Finish Line Worth Crossing

Ever get one of those AMAZING ideas that sound so great at the time that you just have to do it? I had one of those recently. I was living in the glorious space of possibility until the rubber hit the road and I realized I may have been slightly (or a lot) crazy. I am the poster child for leaping into an adventure before totally thinking it through.

Last winter I signed up for the Twin Cities Marathon. That is 26.2 miles of running, in case you wondered just how far that is. Honestly, as I type that I am wondering why that EVER sounded like a good idea. Anyway, fast-forward through snow and cold weather that I didn’t want to train in, relentless hip issues, physical therapy, and the TIME it was taking to train at a much much slower pace, I finally had to come to grips in early July that this marathon was NOT going to happen.

This was devastating for multiple reasons. (Except the part where I no longer had to run in pain—that part was a relief!)

1. The race is on my Dad’s birthday and he passed away from heart issues at the age of 39 and I wanted to honor him by being ❤️healthy and doing something EPIC on his birthday.

2. It’s the 35th anniversary of the Twin Cities Marathon so the swag will be awesome. Who doesn’t love swag? Or being part of a race event with 30K people! Totally Epic!

3. I wanted to show my kids what amazing things you can accomplish when you put your mind to it. I wanted them to see me be disciplined, persevere and, to be honest, I want them to be proud of me for doing something amazing and hard.

4. I needed to be more consistent with working out and this was definitely going to do it.

5. Did I mention I’d get a medal and finisher shirt? I have the finish line, and me crossing it, pictured very clearly in my mind.

It probably sounds crazy but that swag means something to me. I admire anyone I see wearing a marathon finisher shirt. I have finished two full marathons (12 & 13 years ago) and the grit it takes to train and accomplish 26.2 miles inspires me. I was also 13 years younger and single at the time. That also means something! 😂 Life is busy!

So here’s the unexpected lesson I learned in this whole adventure once I accepted that I wasn’t going to be able to run the race. Reframing a goal sometimes turns out way more amazing than we ever expected. Mid-July an unexpected opportunity to run the TC 10-mile race opened up, it’s part of the TC Marathon events and wait for it … I get a medal and finisher shirt!

Instead of showing my 6- and 8-year-old girls my grit, discipline and perseverance and training all alone, they got to train with me. They rode their bikes and were my “coaches” along the route. We blasted music from a Bluetooth speaker in the basket on their bikes and made an adventure out of it. The runs were shorter and took less time and reduced the stress on me, my schedule and most importantly my hip.

Best part, I am still honoring my Dad on his birthday and doing something heart-healthy. Ten miles is a great accomplishment and totally doable for me. I listened to the limits I needed to set for my schedule and my health. That in itself is a victory. I am great at helping others set boundaries, but sometimes I am still a work in progress.

I started this adventure with the desire for a medal and crossing a finish line as my goal, always thinking that receiving the medal would be the biggest accomplishment. But in actuality, it was my discovery in the process, the relationship-building with my daughters and the journey that has become the most valuable.  That’s a finish line worth crossing.

Don’t get me wrong… I’m still all about earning and wearing the medal this Sunday.  It feels great to know that I have already accomplished more than my original goal and that some finish lines are not on race day.  I hope you when life presents you with a race you can take a step back and enjoy the journey and all it will teach you.

Live Fearless…Be Epic!