So, I’m sitting here in my office, pretty much on the eve of my first Half-Marathon, eating my South Western Chicken Salad (light on the dressing, heavy on the chicken, tomatoes, cheese, and little tortilla strips) contemplating tuna-noodle casserole for dinner tonight… (I mean I may as well start carb loading now… right?), when a small inkling of doubt waves as it makes its muddy way through my mind. “What are you doing?” he says, “13.1 miles, you’re a 43 year old asthmatic, you’ll be lucky to finish this thing in 4 hours… crawling.” That voice is a hard one to silence.
But then I think… night time, the sound of my shoes on the pavement, that steady thrum as constant as a heartbeat, regulating my breathing, three beats in, three beats out. My shadows in the streetlight as I pass, tripled… I don’t know why, but going faster than me, growing in front of me as I run through the circle of light, and fading into the blackness of the street. My mind on the run, on the feeling in my legs, the breath in my lungs, the sweat running down my back; the stresses of the day, the work on my desk, the lack of money in the bank, BB leaving for college, all are gone from my thoughts… like magic. I may pass other runners, some wave “Hi,” and some don’t… it’s all good, I understand. We pass each other and run on. We run on in the peace that is the run.
I’ve come to realize, that I don’t run for the shirt, or the medal, but for the peace that is the run. And so… little doubt voice in my head… keep saying what you’re saying, because there will come a day when you, my little friend, just won’t be able to keep up with me.