“Another Rung in the Ladder.”

“When you finally stop chasing the dream, you can finally start living it fully.”

ME, Aubrey Brewer
Pittsburgh Marathon, 5/7/2023

“You got here sooner than you thought you would…”, my husband said to me, as we walked through the finisher’s chute of the Pittsburgh Marathon.

He looked at his watch, mentally calculating my time, “I think you did it. It’s more than enough.”

This should have been a moment to celebrate – to let out a soul clearing scream. This long awaited goal, finally being realized.

Except it wasn’t being realized; not immediately, anyway. It was just hanging there, in the balance, feeling very heavy. Heavy, like the moisture lingering in the air from the rain that had fallen upon us. Heavy, like my legs, and the pressure upon my spine, as I tried to keep moving forward. Heavy, like the emotions swirling around in my mind. Heavy, like the breath I held, just waiting for me to exhale.

How many years had I been chasing this moment? How many Finish Lines have I crossed, each with a better time or better physical performance, only to come back to the same sad conclusion, still:


“Not good enough” tends to be a recurring theme in the undercurrent of my mind. Words never actually spoken out loud, yet repeatedly applied, subconsciously, throughout my life.

So, on this day, when we finally realized my dream, success was simply not something that, I think, either one of us knew how to process. Not immediately, anyway. It definitely took a few days. And it’s really got me thinking… what good is a goal if we are so solely focused on it that, when we finally achieve it, we are unable to fully enjoy the exact moment of our success? What possesses us to tie so much of our own self worth to our own personal achievements? Especially when, in the end, it’s not what we do that even matters at all – but rather, it’s how we go about doing it, and who we choose to do it with, that makes all the difference in the world.

It doesn’t really matter if I qualified for the Boston Marathon or not. It’s just another race.

It doesn’t matter if I actually choose to go and run it or not. I am just one, of the many, who now have the choice.

What matters is the people that I choose to surround myself with – the people who, also, choose me. The ones who care enough to show up, to run with me and support me, in person or in spirit, and who, without any words needed, have come to understand the very depths of my journey.

Pittsburgh Marathon – May 7th, 2023

When it comes right down to it, nothing really even matters at all… because, once obtained, there will always be something else, somewhere else – some other goal or dream we then choose to set our sights on and work towards. It never ends. Each step is just another rung in the ladder of our lives, and we continue to climb.

No matter what your goals might be, please consider this: No THING in this world is greater than YOU. And any THING that causes you to question your own self worth, costs you your peace or the presence of those around you, is simply not worth chasing.

If the many miles covered, all along the way, on the journey to that finish line don’t build you up, can not be savored daily, or fully enjoyed with those who matter the most to you, then what is the point of even going at all?

In the words of the late, great Alan Watts:

“You can’t live at all, unless you can live fully NOW.”


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