I am working on a full recap but I’d be remiss if I didn’t devote a little space and time to give a shoutout to the amazing support system that got me through not only the 26.2 miles of the NYC Marathon but also the hundreds of miles logged leading up to that race day. No, this is not just another shameless Imodium AD plug – although I do owe them a thanks as well – this is a testament to the amazing, funny, crazysexycool, gorgeous, inspiring woman that just happens to be my best friend and wife.
Unless you count the night of our Honeymoon when we broke the bed twice, I’ve never really been congratulated for my physical prowess. I started running about year ago and famously ended my first race getting popped in the chops by a fence while face planting into the pavement with a bloody nose and then getting trampled like Mufasa did by the wildebeasts in The Lion King from the rest of the runners. Talk about a sign to not take up running – those were obvious red flags that I ignored.
I’m a Klutz through and through, so when I took up running, you can just imagine my wife’s concern. After all, I’m the guy that broke the same ankle two years in a row on the same day, sprained ligaments in the other ankle last year because I didn’t have my glasses on and walked into the bathroom door, fell face first into a brick wall and recently got a black eye when I tripped while chasing my son in our kitchen and fell into the garbage can face first. Basically there’s not a single speck of coordination running through my body but she’s been nothing but encouraging. And this is from my wife who had never heard of me running in my life except for the time I went for a run in Hyde Park while studying abroad in London and got so winded that I got an ice cream cone and took a cab back home – not the tell-tale signs of the track star I’d turn into.
Through every run – long and short – she’s been a constant source of positive encouragement and believed in me fully without question when I cooked up this NYC Marathon pipe dream. Whereas I didn’t fully think I could do this until about nineteen miles into the Marathon on race day – she was always my loudest cheerleader. I struggled and doubted while she massaged sore feet and applied the icy hot…Each and every mile became possible because she believed in me and that was contagious.
I’m not sure if you know how many people come out and line the streets for the NYC Marathon, but out of those two million people – there was no bigger smile or louder cheer to be found than hers at mile 18 & mile 23. As I made my up to mile 18, I glanced up and there they were – my wife, my two sons and my mother-in-law – with huge smiles and tearing eyes like an oasis in the desert. Shouting, screaming, waving a big orange balloon and beaming with pride – there they were. A big hug, a quick kiss, a fast photo and they made me feel ready to conquer anything.
As I darted away, knowing I’d see them again in five more miles I started to wonder why I hadn’t believed in myself when they so overwhelmingly and unequivocally believed in me. Why was I the only one who didn’t think I could do it? Their excitement was contagious and the proud looks in their eyes carried me through. I never cared about the timing – just that I could finish the marathon and have fun with it, and after seeing them there was no doubt that I could and would make it through.
As I arrived at mile 23 – there they were again screaming and even more excited than the first time. Kisses, hugs and smiles all around and then I headed off again to finish. They navigated the crazy, busy, crowded streets and subway system with a two and a four year old in order to see me in two different spots to encourage me along the way when they knew I’d need it and never once complained or thought about anything but how happy they were for me. They gave me the encouragement and the strength to finish strong and to believe in myself as much as they did.
I know that it might sound like the start of a joke to say I looked up and saw my mother-in-law’s face in the crowd, but she’s my Boo and they was such a sight for sore eyes. There she was – standing with my older son while my wife wore his brother like they were in Dagobah – he was Yoda and she was the young Jedi in training Luke Skywalker…At that exact moment there was no better sight that I could see then the four of them right there on the street! Granted, the last time I wrote about my mother-in-law it was about inappropriate movies and stuff so hopefully, this post is a little tamer…
This is a different type of post than I usually write, but I didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity to thank them for pushing and encouraging me. They’ll never know what their smiles, cheers and laughter did for me. I think of how much my wife sacrificed over the past few months to encourage me and my crazy pipe dream while I ran like a madman training run after training run, day after day, night after night…I certainly couldn’t have gotten through it without her encouragement, support and love. Here’s to you honey – I love you!