I have written in the past that with running, “The journey is the destination”. That is very true for me. When I run each day, I try to enjoy the journey to keep me from being bored or giving up.
However, in a race the finish line is the destination. During my first half marathon I ran last week, I remember thinking to myself, “pace yourself, but remember that the time you finish with will be what you look back on”. I wanted to “finish strong” and know that I did my best. I did. I look back on my hour and 44 minute finish and think, “wow, how did I do that?” It has been a week and I still am excited about it and it motivates me to go on.
Now however I am in the middle of a two week hiatus from running. I am resting my body and dieting to help get my weight to a place that will make my running easier and less painful. When I ran the half marathon I weighed 195 lbs. That was up from my average of 190 over the past six months. Don’t get me wrong, the run was great and better than I ever imagined I could have done. Just 2 weeks earlier I did a 13 mile run in my neighborhood and was thrilled with a sub 9:00 pace and last week I finished with a sub 8:00 pace. That still amazes me.
Now I am looking at a different finish line. Not a physical race, but a diet race. I don’t want to hurt myself obviously, but I want to loose as much as I can so I can look back and say, “wow, I really stuck to that diet and now I feel so much better”.
Life is a journey and the finish line is death. I want to always improve, grow, mature and finish this race with the grace God has given me since the day I was born. Just like a first half marathon, I only get one chance to live a life that I can look back on as I see the finish line approaching and say, “I have run well. I have helped others. I have accomplished everything I was put here to do”. As I cross the finish line I don’t want any regrets.
I run because my dad ran and my siblings ran and I was lazy and got fat. I run with my dad looking down on me cheering me on. He died almost 8 years ago, but he still influences my life in a positive way. Today is his birthday. Happy birthday dad. My running is my present to you. I hope I will make you proud!
I love my dad even more 8 years after his death. Now you know why I love running.