Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Running is a beautiful thing

Well, hello there! Has it really been over a month since I posted? Surprisingly, traffic to my blog has been continuous, from all over the world! Thank you for checking in! Thank you for reading my blog posts that are carefully crafted from my heart and soul.

"Write, just write!" is what I tell myself. But it is difficult for me. When I log in to this screen, my goal is for my message to be heartfelt and there always, must be a take away. Essentially, I am writing for you. I've yearned to sit in silence and type away. I have had inspiration swirling all around me. But then the question begs "what is it you want to share?" The internet is not a private thing. I could write a fluffy race report about running my 2nd Dopey Challenge. Or I could write about how much I am really hating cancer right now. Or I could write about my insane race schedule for March and April and how I have a gigantic race coming up soon. Or I could write about the peace/war points that I've implemented in my home to help ease the tensions between siblings. Or I could write about how my Lyme symptoms flare up when the weather gets gloomy and cold and I'm begging for my pain to disappear. Yes, there are so many posts floating in my head. But instead, I want to write about something that I have thought about here and there, over the weekend.

Last Friday, I was tagged on instagram by an amazing mama runner, This Momma Runs, to post a photo of me while running when I felt beautiful. The crazy thing is I don't feel beautiful when I run. And I barely have any photo's of me actually running. I wanted to play along, this silly tagging game but then I couldn't find a photo that fit this description. I have FIVE years of photo's of me running. However, most of these photo's were taken at the beginning of the race or at the end. I started to think a lot about the last five years and how I have transformed myself into a distance runner. I am a runner who is fearless, courageous, overcomes surmountable obstacles, usually has mascara stains from crying at the finish line, but I have never thought of myself as beautiful.

photo credit www.runlong.com

I am the underdog. I am the runner who is not supposed to finish, much less, line up at the start line. When I was 24 years old, my legs failed me and I had to rely on crutches for mobility. I was told by the doctors that I would never run again.

I never know what will happen out there on race day. Mentally I am prepared to do what I need to do to cross that finish line. But as I brutally learned this year, for the first time in five years, my body may fail me physically. But out of the fifty plus races I've ran, most of them 13.1 distances or longer, I have pushed myself and overcame my fears and became a finisher! I never take running for granted because it is not easy for me. Sometimes I wonder why I even sign up for these long distance races? But it is not about me. I run for all those who cannot. I want to inspire and give hope. I want people living with an illness or disability to know that maybe one day they may achieve their own impossible goal. It is important to never lose hope and to never stop dreaming.

photo credit www.fitgirlhappygirl.com

Soo...out of the hundreds of pictures that I can think of, this one keeps popping up in my mind.

Anna & Me ~ JFK 50 Miler Finish line, November 2012

It is the finisher photo that a fellow Reston Runner snapped of me and my running mentor, Anna Bradford, after finishing my first JFK 50 Miler and Anna's 18th JFK 50 Miler, November 2012. I certainly didn't feel beautiful. I was the second to last finisher! I was crying. I was exhausted. I'm wearing an ugly black beanie hat. I didn't have time to re-apply my lip gloss. For goodness sake, I am holding a banana which is never a good photo prop! But I had achieved the impossible and my running mentor/friend/grad school social work advisor had believed in me before I ever believed in myself. To me, that is a beautiful thing. We must always spread this beautiful magic to one another.

I may not be the fastest one, or the fittest one, or the prettiest runner but I have heart and soul. And I will always be the runner who will be cheering for the newbie runner, the slow runner, the underdog runner, and the runner who wins the race too! It is the support from each other, the running community, that allows us to accomplish amazing, beautiful things and we must always remember to pass this gift of beauty, onto all runners whose lives we touch, in ways we may not even be aware of.

I will end this post with a quote from another one of my favorite running mentor's, Bart Yasso.

photo credit www.pinoyweekendwarrior.com
 
Now go out into the world and share the beauty of running!
 
Happy Running!
Amy
 
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