I wasn’t born a runner. I don’t fit the runner’s ‘mold’, I actually hate to run, and I think that running 26.2 miles is insane. I have never been a morning person, I hate being hungry, tired, and sore. But that is why I run. I chose to commit to this despite the challenges.
As someone who was at the second bomb of the 2013 Boston Marathon attacks, I would have never thought that I’d be running the Boston Marathon, let alone even make it back to Boylston Street, where the race ends, ever again. In 2014 I made a point not to come back to Massachusetts for the race and in 2015 I made a point to get out of Massachusetts for the entire day.
Now, there are few things I look forward to more than that final turn onto Boylston.
“That finish line represents the hard work, the pain, the tired legs. It represents the nights staying in, the ice baths, the days where stairs were unfathomable and early mornings when the alarm clock is yelling at me before the sun is even up.”
It is not my own will that gets me out of bed and into my One Cushion sneakers for a gruesome long run before work – it is the thought that I have all of Reebok watching me and that I have made this promise to myself and to this company to put in the work and the hours in order to accomplish something for myself and for all of those supporting me.
This journey has taken me places physically – whether I’m running in Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Boston, London, New York, or wherever else I find myself – as well as mentally, when I can’t imagine taking another step, when I’m on Heartbreak Hill and I have to force myself not to just walk the rest of the way, and when I have to convince myself to finish a workout when I could be home in bed.
“I have learned that a marathon is just as much a mental challenge as it is a physical one.”
You have every right to give yourself an excuse not to run; no one would blame you for not running a 5 miler after a 15 mile run – but it is up to you to keep yourself accountable and to reach your fullest potential. The same applies to the challenges we all face in our lives, whether it is a marathon run, or a marathon work week.
Achieving what initially seemed unachievable makes every muscle pain, exhausted evening and setback worthwhile.
“It’s about doing what’s hard for something so much larger than you. By holding yourself accountable you will achieve things you never thought possible.”
Putting in the extra work – waking up early to squeeze in that extra mile, or staying late to have a meeting with a co-worker – will benefit not only yourself, but also inspire others to do the same.
I have learned more about myself these last few months than ever before, I have a new-found appreciation for fanny packs, and have learned to love the quiet of the morning. As I cross the finish line on April 18, it won’t just be the end of a race – it will be the culmination of a journey. I run for that day in 2013, I run to make my amazing Reebok family proud, and I run for my own family and friends.