Wednesday, November 16, 2011

In the photo, I see me.

In the photo, I see me. Exhausted, happy, relieved me. What a goal! 21.1 kilometres frozen in time in a moment that would last a lifetime. I see joy, glee, pride and a pretty confident person with a beaming smile. I did it!

Ha! to all you naysayers who said I couldn't, wouldn't do it. Ha! to the nagging self-doubt that constantly creeped into my training runs over the last few months. Ha! to the rain that started the day and the humidity that ended it. "I beat you". Haha. Damn, that medal looks good on me!

What I don't see is the sweat, the tears, the nagging self-doubt at kilometre 15 that I would be able to finish this race. I don't see the aches, the pains, the soreness, the months of running uphill while my thighs burned, the all too familiar awful taste of blue Gatorade as I eagerly gulped it down or the fear that I would never get here; to the race, the start, the running, the finish.

I started too fast (as usual) and really debated whether I would finish the race when at kilometer 19, I stopped. Just stopped, refusing to take another step; the weight of the last 2 kilometres weighing on my shoulders. I couldn't' go on. I didn't want to. Someone near me cheered some encouragement. I turned to glare at her. 'Don't tell me I'm almost there'. 'I am not almost there!' There is still 2 kilometres of hell to go before I get there. She turned to cheer on someone else.

I had 2 kilometres to go and I was tired but I couldn't give up. One step...two step...one step...another step. Just keep going even if you have to walk or crawl the last 2 kilometres. One step..2 step...okay now run a little, ok walk..but keep walking. Legs burning, lungs burning, the Sound of Madness throbbing through my head...'but keep going'.

Then, I saw the Sign. 'Finish' was all it said. 'Finish'.

As I crossed the Finish line, exhaustion, sweat, tears streaming down my face, I had one thought and one thought only.

'I Am A Runner.'

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