You’re deep into your training. Muscles ache. The schedule is packed. The race-day starting line is getting close, but feels so far away. You’re staving off exhaustion, mentally and physically.
Somedays you feel like crap.
I’m with you.
Over the past few weeks there have been some crappy training runs, a couple knee injections, and a trip to the cryotherapy chamber in an attempt to help my aching body recover. My runs haven’t been pretty, but I’m still trudging along, to the eventual race day starting line, ready to run the streets of Chicago with my 21 year old daughter.
Yes, race day will be here soon. With its indescribable excitement and nerves. Embrace it all and savor each magnificent moment. They are treasures to cherish over the miles of life.
The race day mile markers will slowly accrue. The jubilation of the fans and the excitement will carry you early, before the legs start to grumble and groan.
Somewhere around mile 20 you round a corner and enter the belly of what sounds like a turbo jet engine. The crowds are deafening. The excitement is palpable. People in beautiful attire shower you with encouragement, refreshments, and if the weather is warm, a few rejuvenating sprinklers. You’ve come to Pilsen, perhaps the apex of the race.
The euphoria carries you through the next mile, and soon you’re crossing beneath the archway of Chinatown and nearing mile 21.
And suddenly, it feels eerily quiet by comparison.
This deep in the race, just as it was in the final weeks of training, your muscles ache relentlessly. The streets are packed, but the finish line feels so far away. You again find yourself staving off exhaustion, both mentally and physically.
Feeling like crap, you wonder how you can find the stamina to finish what seems to be the longest 5 miles ever. Calves are cramping, feet are screaming and you are
It’s the proverbial wall, and you’ve hit it, full on. Oh you might not see it, but you feel it, like an immovable obstacle trying to derail your dreams. It is shouting at you, echoing the negative voices, attempting to sow seeds of doubt, hopelessness, and failure.
But what you also don’t see is another wall, just behind you, to your left. And while this wall sits silently, its’ truth rings clear.
Three simple words, that if you let their honesty settle in, remind you that you’re a badass. You have dared greatly, and summoned the courage to attempt this awesome feat. That truth defines you, more than the temporary aches in your body. That truth signifies who you are at your core – resilient, undaunted, and resplendent.
“You are Beautiful”
You may be sore. You may ache. You may be filled with fears and doubts. And when you pass that sign you will be a sweaty mess. But your dreams are beautiful.
Your courage is radiant. Each and every mile you’ve raced, or trudged, is a testament to your character and audacity. You’re a certifiable inspiration to so many around you and we couldn’t be prouder of who you are, and all you’ve done.
You. Are. Beautiful.