Surviving the Race

Angelism: “Every step in life has its moment. It might be your first step, your last, your easiest step or your most challenging one. Whether it is a step up, step down, or a step to the side, no matter what kind of step, enjoy what it brings to your story. Every step you take is a memory that shapes your personal journey in life.” 
Life has challenges every day. Many challenges we take on to prove something to ourselves that we were not sure was possible. Back in the fall, one of my best-friends since high-school signed up for a half marathon. I instantly thought she was crazy. When she called to share the news I got excited for her but still thought she had no clue what she was getting herself into. This friend of mine, who rarely asks me for anything, insisted that I help motivate her. She knew I worked out regularly and wanted me to hold her accountable. Wanting to be there for her I said, “Yes!” I even offered to train with her. She was thrilled and sent me the run schedule. I was officially in for 12 weeks of torture!
Now, I live in Los Angeles and my friend resides in Houston. My promise to her was to train with her side by side so we could tackle the workout plan together. I knew this was a promise I would soon regret, but I wanted to stay committed. Having attempted to train for a half marathon in my past, I knew she would start to feel defeated around the 8-10 mile mark. This meant I had to stay strong especially at the end. After a few weeks of training I had a crazy idea. I thought how great it would be if I could fly out there and do this with her. From that point on, I worked to figure out a way to get to Houston and spend this memorable event with her.
Luckily her husband was on board with this idea, as well as my boyfriend and another dear friend of ours. We agreed it would be a surprise, she would be clueless, and we would give her the shock of her life. Scared the secret would be exposed, we kept it on the down-low from our friends and family. Successfully keeping it hush-hush, we arrived the Friday before the race and she had no idea anything was up. I pretended to be at work texting her about my stressful day, when all along I was really eating lunch with her hubby down the street from her office in Houston. We decided we would hide in her closet when she got home. When she drove up we took our place in the dark closet like little kids playing hide and go seek. She came in the house after a long day at work, she went to her closet to change (thinking her hubby was taking her out to dinner), and BAM! There the three of us were, screaming and running out of the closet to surprise her and support her on her special day. She was shocked!!! She put her hands over her face and cried – we cried, we laughed, she asked questions, and we cried some more. When the shock wore off we hugged, we jumped for joy, we acted like kids and we all agreed that moment will forever be a highlight in our life. This experience reminded me how important it is to do things like this for those you love. Life is all about moments and when you can have one that feels this good, an instant feeling of raw emotion that creates a warm and fuzzy feeling inside your heart, it is worth all the effort to make it happen. We were all floating on a cloud of happy.
Now that the fun of the surprise was over, we had to face the race. Sunday morning was brutal. We were up at 4am, we spent an hour in the car driving to the race location, and then we weaseled our way through the thousands of people to get ready for the half marathon. Our nerves were at an all time high. We had sweaty palms and goosebumps because we wanted so badly to do well. We were scared to death at how hard the next few hours would be. We heard the stories of people passing out, throwing up, peeing themselves, and tripping and scraping up their bodies. We knew that a rash in the bra and crotch area was likely as were blisters on our feet. Through the fear we had one main goal: TO FINISH THE RACE! Our second goal: TO NOT STOP RUNNING! I am thrilled to report: “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!” We came in under the 12 minute mile goal we set for ourselves and we never stopped running once. We were overwhelmed with gratitude to have accomplished this challenge together. We crossed that finish line and the tears poured out as the leg pain set in. We did it! 13.1 miles complete!
I learned that committing to push yourself harder than you ever have before is very frightening. The doubt, fear and pain that creeps up in your head while you run for hours on end is a mental mind-fuck every step of the way. The will and motivation to finish is there but the desire to give up and quit haunts you. Neither of us wanted to let each other down, so we both pushed hard not just for ourselves but for each-other. I am blessed that we survived the race in one piece. I am more blessed that I have a friend who has been with me in every step of my life. This race represented to me that no matter how many steps I take in life, no matter how hard my challenges get, or how scared I am to do the things I want to do, I am not alone. Our commitment to get through life together will always be there. Thank you BFFF!!! And thank you NIKE for shoes that stood the test of time!!!