Friday, May 25, 2007

From Lia's Post

Sometimes, I find myself writing a post in response to another blogger. More than once I've wanted to copy my own comment and make it into a post of my own - because the original post sparked a train of thought I wanted to continue. Today it was Lia's post, and today I copied my own comment and am putting it up. Here is my comment:

During the years I supported Eric, watching marathoners from the edges of the race, I saw runners fly over the finish, I saw runners hobble over the finish, I saw runners with rubber legs fall to the ground, I saw other runners pick them up and drag them over the finish. I saw wheelchair racers leaning into the pull, front wheels lifting off the ground with their effort. I saw smiles, I saw tears. I saw accomplishment.

Sometimes now I look back and I wonder which has been harder - three years of poor health, struggling through a daily run of three to five miles, or now, optimal health, struggling through to the marathon finish. One of the thoughts that rolls around in my head during the last miles nudges me to remember the runs when I felt sick or couldn't breathe. It reminds if I could run feeling like that, then I can do this task, today.

Finishing marathons tells me that someday I will use those memories of endurance to endure again, that the marathon is a simile for life - easy, hard, painful, joyful, elation, struggles, endurance, plodding, moving, always moving, tears, smiles, power, strength...it's all there. Finishing the marathon reminds me that I am alive, that I can and will endure, that I have the fortitude and mental will to do amazing things. It is a test and I have passed, yet I feel the need to test again and again.

15 comments:

robtherunner said...

Well said, Michelle!

Try@thlete said...

I couldn't agree more with those wise words.

Randy said...

Michelle you are so wonderful, those are great words. I hope that someday you decide to write about your life as an observer/supporter-runner/champion as I believe you have a message that many other runners could learn from. Well stated thoughts.

Wes said...

"test again and again"

or reinforce that which we already know? Beautiful Michelle!

Sarah Elaine said...

Wow.

Well, it is 8:37 a.m. and I'm sitting here reading your blog and drinking coffee. I just have to tell you, that post is an inspirational and thoughtful way to start the day. Thanks.

I guess after I do the half in July I'll have to whip my butt into shape for a marathon, eh?

Joe said...

The marathon is a good teacher...thanks for being a good interpreter, Michelle.

Good luck in Idaho!!

Sarah said...

Beautifully written! A comment certainly worthy as its own post. : )

angie's pink fuzzy said...

so true, well said.

RunnerGirl said...

Michelle, I am seriously crying. That was so well put.

olga said...

Very from the heart. While I never supported anybody before I began racing, I can attest to my own feeling of awe of how I can run now - far, often and terrain - after not been able to run a step (and not wanting either). Hope you're enjoying CDA marathon!

Nicole said...

such great metaphors.

Sunshine said...

5:53:05 Looks like more than a "passed the test" time!!
Congratulations on your marathon run.

Kristen D. said...

Beautiful entry, Michelle...thank you for the inspiration!

E-Speed said...

what a wonderful way to express your marathon experiences!

runliarun said...

I knew, when I read your comment on my post, that I struck a chord. And probably not a pleasant one.

You have been struggling with your body for years before you ran a marathon. You have been standing on the sideline, watching others run by. And here I come, a neophyte, blessed by nature, no heart problems, no nailless toes, not even a cramp or a blister, and I run a marathon, and say "so what?"

If there is anything wrong with my attitude, it's my problem. I have a love/hate relationship with running. I do not take my accomplishments seriously. As the title of my post says, I am too hard on myself.

But I do not take running lightly. I did not run my marathon for the sake of a medal at the finish line, although that was part of it. I do not run for the sake of other people's reaction, that would be a defeat from the start. No one cared. My own sister back in Europe did not bother for weeks to ask how I did in the race although she was on IM every day afterwards. I run because I have learned to listen to the little voice in my head, the voice that told me to abandon my profession when that meant destitude, the voice that told me to come to America on my own, leaving every certainty behind, the voice that told me one day to get up and run a marathon.

I learned to listen. I learned to run.

I never structured my blog as a dialogue, because I have a pleasing mentality, and I am burdened or gifted (it's a matter of intepretation) with the trait of empathy, a combination that would render me saying what people like to hear. I stick to my own view, as much as I can, as complicated and contradictory as it may seem. I can not apologize for who I am. I am a writer, and my calling is to spark a train of thought. I am proud of that. But I apologize if, in any way, that hurt your feelings.