It’s almost been a week since I finished the Grand Rapids Marathon, and I still am having a hard time finding the words to describe the experience. And I think I’ve figured out why. The marathon to me was so much more than a one-day “thing” that needs to be recapped. It’s been a long journey to get to that point — through one of the toughest years I can remember facing.
I suppose it technically started when I decided it was time to lose the weight. Though, when I started that part of the journey, I never would have believed you if you told me I’d be running a marathon — it was never one of my goals. More recently, the journey to the marathon started when I realized Amor No More would be moving back to Mexico. That, my friends, is when I started running. And I kept on running. And it made me stronger. It gave me time to myself, to clear my head. It taught me that — holy crap — I am bigger than the things that affect me. It showed me that I wasn’t the fat girl anymore who couldn’t do anything because, really, I CAN — and did — do this. And it taught me that sometimes, yes, it really is mind over matter.
And it gave me the strength to finally break up with Amor No More. Because I learned, through running, to love me. And I learned that I was better than the relationship we had — and I deserved something more.
“As I learned to depend on me and treat me better, I found a voice that I didn’t know I had.” ~Me, October 2010
And that voice led me to make that phone call. That last good-bye. It was exactly a year ago today that I made that phone call that hurt so much and put my life on the path it’s been on for the last year. It’s a phone call I thought broke me. It’s a phone call I’d prayed would never have to come. Turns out, it made me stronger — in ways I could never have imagined.
Because that voice? That voice also is the one that led me to sign up for a half marathon … and then a full. And it talked me through the hours and hours of training. It prodded me on those cold mornings last winter when I didn’t really want to crawl out from under the warm blankets. It screamed at my doubts until they flittered away, scared of the repercussions if they stayed. It pushed me through a surgery that, quite frankly, pissed me the heck off. And right now, it’s coaching me through some pretty heavy family stuff. It’s that very same voice that, through tears, sung me through the final miles of my marathon last Sunday.
So, maybe that’s why it’s so hard to write about my marathon. It’s because it’s so very much more than a race. It’s an ending — and it’s a beginning.