Saturday, April 16, 2011

Adjusting the Lens

   This past year has been one amazing ride. One that I will say has been well deserved after the road that I've traveled the past few. The mental, emotional and physical transformation that I have gone through has made me a stronger more resilient man. Being able to take a step back and see that I've come full circle has been a blessing in disguise.

   Today I am only two weeks away from my second Marathon. April 30th is exactly 364 days past my first ever race. I never knew or realized that a year ago running and racing could have changed my life. I'm a different, better man all because of the self discipline, commitment and dedication running has taught me. All principals that I try to apply to my daily life. I recently had some time to reflect back on the past year when I received a kind note of support.

   This winter has been hard. In the beginning I enjoyed the challenge of hitting the road and fighting the weather. The cold, snow, freezing rain and sub zero wind chills were just another challenge to push myself through. It would be a lie to say that come the end of February and all of March didn't wear me down. Training for a spring Marathon is probably one of the hardest things I've ever done. The mental and physical strain that a body and mind go through is extremely taxing. All of that was compounded by the loss of my beautiful friend and companion of the past 13 years, Sammy. That emotional loss of the only staple in my life over the past 13 years made it harder to get out the door for my runs, but knowing that she could finally run with me like she was a young pup again made those hard days pass by a little easier.

   As the winter moved on through and my complaints grew louder there came a point that I couldn't see the forest threw the trees. My body was beginning to fail me. My calf went first, then my Achilles and most recently my hamstring. I was logging more miles than I ever had before. There is something inside of me pushing and pushing to get better and faster. These injuries were only scars of my dedication and like the self confident fool that I can sometimes be; I ignored what my body was telling me.

   As I sit here reflecting on the past year I'm a little ashamed of the days when I let my negative attitude break through. With that being said I guess I'm only human and that may happen from time to time. I am, however grateful that my body hasn't completely failed me. I am still patiently waiting for my hamstring to heal  but the other injuries have passed and I'm extremely thankful for that.

  Today, April 16, 2011 I'm adjusting my lens. My heart is torn between what could be, and my ultimate goal. Although I don't have an official trainer or training partner I have a friend who has followed my progress is unable to run the next Marathon on her schedule due to an injury. My heart goes out knowing all of the hard work and dedication she has put into training through the cold winter months to prepare for this race. Knowing the type of person she is I know that she will come back stronger because that's what runners do. We NEVER give up. So get better Maureen and even though we've never met I appreciate all of your support and advice as I learn this crazy sport we love.

   The flip side of this coin, and my ultimate goal is being lived right now by another runner who has been ever so giving to share her first experience of running the Boston Marathon. Witnessing all of the emotions that are being poured into this weekend and through the race on Monday are truly inspiring. Maybe only runners can appreciate this accomplishment and what it means to have the privilege to cross Hopkinton Rd but I wanted to take just a moment to congratulate Jane on reaching her dream and being so kind to share it.Ohio is pulling for you so enjoy your moment.You've earned it.

  All of this is just lessons in life. Never take for granted of what you have and never ever give up on your dreams. This isn't just about running it's about what we all need and look for daily to be happy. Take that first step and find your happiness everyone deserves it.