One of the best things about writing this blog and interacting with like-minded running folks on social media is that I get to experience ‘the first time’ over and over again though my readers. My friends Rebekah and Dawn ran their very first half marathon this weekend and I couldn’t have been more proud.
And then fellow reader Kari ran her very first 5K today, and again, I couldn’t have been more proud. Check out the sweatshirt her friend had made for her…pretty cool, huh?
Each time I see one of my own (and I call all of ya’ll one of my own) reach a new milestone for the first time, it takes me back to all of my first times and this makes my heart smile. I get to relive all those special moments that takes you across that wonderful finish line over and over again through you.That moment when you realize that the finish line is right around the corner and you are so close you can taste it. That moment when you actually see that finish line and your heart pounds harder, not from running, but from the pure adrenaline and excitement of the thought of all the training you did for this one specific goal is coming to fruition. That moment when you feel that you have just redefined who you are as your foot crosses that finish line. It’s special. And maybe I’m a little more emotional and sappier than your average person, but I do feel your joy and sometimes I get a little teary-eyed because of it.
One of the reasons that I consider running one of the best sports around is that you can have so many first times. There are so many distances, so many races, so many different types of running that those “first times” seem endless. What other sport can constantly reward you with that rush over and over again? What other sport can make you redefine who you are one race after another? And the “first times” aren’t necessarily the same for everyone either. Some can define their “first time” at the completion of a race, while others define them in moments. For me, it’s more about the moments.
The moment I realized that I could run – the first time I reached mile 8. The moment when I realized that a marathon was a possibility – the first time I reached mile 14. The moment when I realized that I had more grit and determination than I ever thought possible – the first time I reached mile 16. It was 90 degrees in August and we were running downtown Baltimore.
And then there was that first time I crossed the finish line of a marathon. That moment was when I realized that I was unstoppable and I really could do whatever the hell I set my mind to. It was the first time that I felt invincible physically, mentally, and spiritually all at the same time.
I have to say, running is pretty freaking awesome. So, tell me about one of your first times. Would love to hear about it!