I can’t believe it’s been a whole year since I ran the ING New York City Marathon yall. My body believes it though! Ha
So this year I look forward to cheering on friends and thousands of other strangers that aren’t afraid to do hard things. Actually being a spectator this year will be a full circle moment. The last time I was screaming at the top of my lungs and cheering on marathon runners was during the 2011 NYC Marathon. I was so inspired by the runners that hoofed it pass me on 122nd street in Harlem that I walked back to my apartment daydreaming and thinking, “One day I will run the NYC Marathon.” So to say I actually did on November 3, 2013 is still mind blowing.
However while I’m definitely a real life marathoner, “real life” also happened during that glorious year.
Losing my mother and best friend to cancer just 3 months before my 26.2 mile “Destiny Run,” shook my entire existence. And while I crossed that finish line surrounded by friends and family I knew that the real race had just begun.
The journey that grief requires is long and painful, but if you hang on, there are moments of peace and joy too. Kind of like a marathon.
Straight up – running for my sanity has gone to a whole other level this year, which is why there isn’t a race that goes by that I don’t take my guardian angel with me. Tucked close to my heart is where I always carry a photo that my mother and I took the last time she came to visit me in New York. And honestly when the going gets tough mile after mile I feel her. During the marathon I felt her during the moments when I thought my legs where literally going to fall off. And this past year during 5K’s 10K’s and half marathons I feel her when I cross both the start and finish line.
Her presence is as gentle in spirit as it was in the flesh and race after raceI look up and hear a soft whisper say, “I am still with you, keep running toward your destiny.”
Oh how I crave this moment.
So today when I set out for a quick four miler I prayed a quick prayer to my guardian angel. I simply said, “Please come to me.” And she did. Quicker than expected actually. Not even one mile in I noticed that it was about to rain and suddenly two miles sounded better than four. But then that gentle voice I had just prayed for said, “I doesn’t matter if it rains. You can out run a storm.”
And one year later, after crying countless tears and clocking countless miles I am living proof that storms can’t alter destinies. In fact, if you find the will to surrender in the midst of your storm the fresh rain can sustain you.
Wow, the difference a year makes.
Long story short, running a marathon is the hardest thing my body has ever done. Living without my mother is the hardest thing my heart has ever done. Yet believing in my destiny is the best thing my spirit has done and will continue to do.
One year later – stronger. Mind, body and spirit.
My RAD Life Lesson:
Trouble comes and trouble goes. But if you keep on running…you can and will outrun your storm.