After months and months of training — here I am. I’ve got many thoughts running through my head and emotions wanting to be felt. But, here I am, on the cusp of doing something once thought impossible.
I want to feel fear. I want to feel peace. I want to feel nervous. I want to feel confidence. I want to feel anxious. I want to feel strong. But, this feeling I feel is all of those emotions wrapped into one — and I just stand here ready to run. Ready to experience what is ahead of me and tackle the task at hand.
I stand here looking back at the road behind me and acknowledge the path that got me here. It didn’t start months ago, this has been a path made years ago. This path was begun when I made the decision to seek joy in my life. I lived my life too long in darkness, devoid of joy and without vision. But, I never would have imagined that my decision to seek joy would lead me here.
But, here I am.
As I stand here in contemplation I am filled with not just joy, but joyous gratitude. I am grateful to God for a body that works. I am grateful for a spirit that dreams. I am grateful for each and every footprint that has lead me here.
A majority of those footprints have been taken solo, but a good deal have been taken with others. Some have fleetingly passed through this journey, while others have staked claim to many moments I’ll always cherish. Many have cheered me forward when I needed that encouragement and I have tried to return that favor by paying it forward. And, because of them, here I am.
My heart pounds in anticipation. Nerves are being felt — and cherished. I love this angst feeling of the unknown. These same feelings rushed through my body as I stood at the starting line of my first races.
I have long missed these feelings. They are feelings that I have grown accustom to over the years racing a lot. This may be one of the reasons why I pushed myself to do something daunting like a 50 miler — I simply miss those intense feelings of anticipation.
But, here I am.
I know this is going to hurt. I know this is going to suck. I know this will be difficult both mentally, emotionally and spiritually. But, none of that is going to keep me back moving forward and completing the task at hand.
I used to live a life avoiding pain, difficulty and adversity. But, when I made a decision some 6-7 years ago to live a life of joy — I didn’t fully grasp the concept or idea that I would also have to accept pain, difficulty and adversity. But, quite honestly, that’s been all the difference.
Running has taught me to embrace the pain, accept the difficulty and invite adversity, because it is those moments we learn. It’s in those moments of suffering we learn the most about ourselves, our resolve and what matters most in life.
And, what matters the most in life will never be found on a trail or a mountain. It will never be found in the counted miles of the day or accomplishments and honors of life. What matters most in life will always be what you hold close to your heart. That’s why I run.
I run to live. I run to love. I run to learn. I run for joy. I run for peace — and everything in between.
My heart pounds, anticipation runs high, and, I am simply ready to run. Ready to experience what I am to experience, to feel what I am to feel and gain victory over the task at hand.
Here I am.
Let’s do this thing.