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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Why I Ran A Marathon


Dear Lindsay,

I can't believe it has been over 6 weeks since I completed a marathon.  That is 26.2 miles.  Since then I have not even run a total of 26.2 miles.  For months, it was such a big part of my life, this goal of running a marathon that now that it is over, I don't want it to fade away.

I am slowing forgetting the dedication, the hard work, the feelings, even the desire of how bad I wanted it.  So today I am taking just a minute to write down why I ran that marathon.

It all started last fall.  Husband's school schedule was intense and family time was becoming a rarity.  One stressful day I told my husband that I was going to buy a jogging stroller and that we were going to run a marathon together.  He said okay, because he figured he had no choice, but as we started to run together we looked forward to it.  Our daughter loved it.  We spent family time together and all was well.  To run a marathon you have to stick to the training schedule.  So as we made time for running, we were really making time for family.  Every day when we ran, we held hands together as we crossed our "finish line" which was the crack in the driveway.

In January, my husband pulled out with a knee injury.  We were both devastated.  We had run, we had pushed, we had even started to get babysitters because our mileage had increased to a point where our daughter couldn't sit that long in the stroller.  We had run in the snow, rain, wind, bitter cold and mainly we had run together.  We held hands every time that we finished.  Our marriage had been strengthened.

I took a week off.

I thought about things.  Was I still going to run the marathon alone?

Finally, I decided what my answer was going to be.

I was going to run the marathon alone.  My husband still was going to help me.  He babysat our daughter for many hours while I ran.  He cheered, he brought water, he did all he could.  He made the money so I could spend it on running shoes, socks, pants, entry fees, etc.  Still I was alone.  It was quiet when I ran.  I only had my thoughts to tell me to keep going.  I finished every run without his hand in mine.

I was going to run the marathon alone.  Mainly because I knew deep down what I had always known...what I think everybody knows.  People who run marathons, have self-discipline.  As a teenager as I ate my way through life I knew I didn't have self-discipline, because if I did, then I wouldn't be so overweight as a result of lack of nutrition and exercise and zero self-discipline.  As a young adult, without parents and teachers to make me do things, I didn't always do the best that I could.  I grew lazy, and procrastinated more than I ever had before.  I knew that I HAD to run this marathon so I could develop the self-discipline that I wanted, to re-capture me.

And discipline it took to finish the training, but the day of the race came, and I did it.  I ran a marathon.

I ran by a guy that was wearing a shirt that said "We run for those we love".  Then on the back it had a long list of names.  I don't know if they were living or deceased, family or friends, but it made me think.  Who was I running for?  After some thought I knew.

Me.

I am a woman.  I always help other people.  I always worry about my family.  I put myself on the back burner.

And so, Self, who I love, remember why you ran a marathon.  Though there were many reasons to get you started and continuing on the journey, do not forget that you are special and that you are worth it.

We run for those we love.  Keep running.  Keep loving you.

Love,
Lindsay

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