26.2 miles. Sunshine. Music. Runners. Posters. American Flags. Helicopters. Marines. Family. Strangers. Cheers. Clapping. So much inspiration.
It. Changed. Me.
For the first time in my life, I was PRESENT for it all. Immersed in all of the experience. The energy melted into my being. Like being transported to another place, another capacity of time, I was completely in it. And it felt amazing. My legs held me strong, propelling me forward. My lungs happily exchanging air. My breath so rhythmic, it was calming. “I’m doing it,” I smiled, high-fiving my brother at mile 18.
This was beyond a runner’s high. This was a transformation.
The disabled war veterans competing, the hundreds of marines lining the fuel stations, the race course and greeting all at the finish line with a medal was humbling and inspirational. Gratitude doesn’t quite capture what I feel for all servicemen and servicewomen.
This race was a test for me. A test of my mental capacity and ability to push through. I needed to do this. I needed to get to the other side. And the relative ease in which I accomplished this feat, was exhilarating. More than a race, it was a marker for me of where I am beyond any physical measure.
Running and completing a marathon requires dedication, commitment, perseverance, flexibility, desire. Running in the Marine Corps Marathon requires all of it…but then humbles you in a way that is uplifting and motivational.
Well, I think I just might be a runner!