On June 10th, 2007 in Lake Placid, NY, on a fantastic early summer morning I ran my first marathon. This marathon feat taught me a great deal. To prepare for 26.2 miles, six months was going to be tough, especially after running no more than 3 in my life. What made it seem possible was watching the NYC marathon in person, I envisioned myself running the streets being cheered on by spectators as I, myself, was doing the cheering that day. I began to lay out a training plan with small steps and goals. Over the next six months I would overcome various obstacles that could’ve hindered me from finishing.
I dealt with days of many excuses, but my biggest obstacle was an injured T-band. My T-band caused me to lose a month of training. Race day was fast approaching. I learned a great deal through my training, yet I ended up learning far more than diet and exercise.
I learned valuable life lessons of having persistence, finding motivation, and dealing with and overcoming adversity. I felt despite the training hurdles I experienced I could still accomplish this mounting feat because of my constant sight on the goal and optimistic attitude. The life lessons I learned through my training would come into play on race day.
There it was the starting line. After all the hours of iPod music and "sole" pounding, it was time to bask in the moment of the Lake Placid Marathon. I was 26.2 miles from completing my goal. Two miles in, a kid comes out to high five me, wow! Nice downhill stretch, great! Halfway and on pace, stay focused! Slowing down, not many runners in sight, finding motivation! Mile 18 the cramps begin, stop and stretch. Every few hundred yards, stop and stretch, persistence. With 5 miles to go, calf muscles clinch, I fall to the pavement in pain. The cramp won’t seize. Finally to my feet I begin towards the finish line, overcoming adversity. I ascend the last hill, crossing the finish line. Emotions of fulfillment and satisfaction overcome the pain and exhaustion – barely. I learned a lot running 26.2 miles. I had more confidence than ever before, and I knew there were many more feats to come. As my shirt read, I was a FINISHER.
With my marathon story told, I don’t think it’s complete. I feel my marathon has many more lessons to give not only to me, but to others as well. I am proud to have accomplished this goal. It has helped me through my first two years of teaching in many ways. In the classroom I expect my students to be focused, find motivation, to persist through excuses, and overcome adversity. I expected my students to be FINISHERS of their own.
Last weekend, 5 years after completing my first and only marathon I ran my first half marathon, after being asked by a friend to lace up the running shoes again. The two hours in Danbury on a cool Spring morning reinforced what I had realized the first time running; with persistence, motivation, and dealing with adversity, I know success can occur. As I continue to pursue a new teaching position and build my maze business I will remind myself of these race days. Teaching and running a business are both long-distance journeys. But, with focus, persistence, motivation, and overcoming adversity I know I will be meet my goals and be a FINISHER yet again.