Recently, I caught myself slipping back into old thought patterns… ones that I’ve worked so hard to alter, unravel and redirect. It really got me thinking that old habits really do die hard.
I’ve learned so much these past few years, and have experienced more than one life changing breakthrough in 2021, yet here I am – still having to check myself, reign in my thoughts, and redirect my endeavors in order to steer myself back “on course”.
Upon completion of the Boston Marathon in October, I traveled back home a transformed human being. Yeah – sure, my body hurt physically and I was most certainly tired but, mentally and emotionally, I felt invincible – like there is not a single thing that I can not do! I immediately began to plan my next endeavor – an event so much “bigger” than Boston.
But broken things have still been “broken”, and no matter what we do to repair the damage, rebuild with surgery, or rehab with therapy, some things will just never go completely back to the way they were before. Sometimes our bodies, our hearts, and our minds will never truly heal in a way that will return them back to the same, exact, unaffected state that they were in before the things happened that hurt us. We learn to live with this. We adapt, we change, we find our way through… even if it is with new limitations we’ve never experienced before.
Realizing this has taken me several months to absorb, but now I know that I’m okay with it.
If nothing else, training to run Boston while recovering from such significant physical injuries has taught me exactly what is meaningful and what is not. It’s allowed me to take a step back and recognize what brings me happiness and joy and, within that, what is sustainable for me and what is not. I’ve long since come to terms with the fact that the race does nothing to define me, and that a finish will bring nothing more than exactly that – a race finish. It will not validate anything. It won’t make me someone or something that I’m not already and, although it would be nice, it’s also not necessary for me in order to move on. I’ve long since moved on.
So, while I am still re-evaluating my current goal and choosing how I will go about executing and achieving it, I do know one thing for certain – I will still run, I will still train, I will still adventure and I might even still race… but my goals and focus for 2022 and beyond consist much more of simple pleasures and involve way less physical pain.
Thank you, Boston, for all that you’ve given me – the blessings and the lessons. I did something special out there, all by myself, in the miles that stretch between Hopkinton and Boston. I may never be able to accurately describe the transformation that occurred within me there, but I will forever cherish those memories and I will never forget that experience.
To my running friends, I wish you all the best of luck – especially those in pursuit of Boston, as well as, any other race or distance “beyond”. Rest assured that I am good and, as always, I hope that you are too.