What if it is not about crossing the finish line?
Sometimes it is not about the destination. Sometimes it is about being on that journey. learning during that time, and becoming a different person…
I hope this blog will inspire you to add joy in your journey, the goal you are working for right now, and to stay optimistic whatever the outcome is. Because we don’t know what the plan is for us.
March, 8th 2020 was marked on my calendar a year ago to run the LA Full Marathon. First of all, I had never “run” in my life and I was 27 when I set that goal. I was nervous, and terrified when I learned that the full marathon was actually 26.2 freaking miles. However, I had no doubt that I would be at the finish line with all the people I signed up with.
Like I said I had never run in my life, and I started “running” in September 2020. But the marathon training was a whole different story that I went through and will tell you soon.
When I first did my non-stop 2-mile run, I was so happy and also I couldn’t imagine how I would add 24 more to it. I kept training and every time when I hit my PR (the longest mile) I said the same sentence to myself and the people around me “this is it, I can’t do more than this.” But when the time passed, my body had gotten used to it and I came to a point where I was running 5 miles just to warm-up my legs. After mile 5, I started enjoying the run. Then, we started training all together with my peeps by doing 2 digits miles. Every weekend I was scheduled to meet and run with them. 10 miles, 13.1(half marathon), 15, 17, 20 miles. Weekends for the run! However, there were times that I had to run 15 miles with no sleep, there were times that I had to run 17 miles while being sick, and there were times I was just so exhausted and I showed up and finished it anyways. I was ready! I finished the marathon training and accomplished the longest run (20 miles). I felt amazed by that accomplishment already and could not wait to conquer the marathon.
In February, a couple of weeks before the marathon, I got sick… I lost my voice, then it followed with an infection on my tonsils and I was having breathing issues. I started taking antibiotics and had an injection. But I did not stop my life; I just tried to take it easy on my runs and work-outs. Then, I got worse… The doctor put me into the breathing machine 3 times in 10 days; 2 more injections and 2 more different antibiotics. God, I had never been that sick in my life. So, I finally stopped running.
One week to the Marathon!
One week left for the marathon and I was still not quite well. I had a fever, a sore throat and my breathing was not 100%. And, definitely, my body was kind of forgetting to run, my mind was telling me negative stories of how I was not going to make it. I DID NOT listen to any of the stories! I was still working and working out, getting ready to head to LA with my friends and then celebrate my success! So, I went to the doctor one last time on Monday morning and the marathon was on the following Sunday morning. I told him this: “Listen, I worked so hard for this marathon for 7 months and I AM RUNNING it this Sunday. Please, do something to make me feel 100% to help me to do it.” He gave me another shot on my butt! and put me in a breathing machine once again. Then said “I cannot tell you to run or not, you will have to see how you feel. But you are still not well.”
I did nothing physically but prepped myself mindfully to believe I would be able to do it. I took Friday off from work and rested, packed, and on Saturday morning I left for Los Angeles. I met with my friends, everybody was so excited meanwhile I was getting nervous and nervous every time I felt a fever and pain in my throat. I was just praying and trying to receive a miracle to get well in less than 24 hours!
I could not sleep that night, my throat was hurting and I was feeling feverish around my throat and neck. I still ignored being sick and I went up there to fight for what I wanted. When we arrived at the start line, I was so excited and I was there with all my medicines, cough drops, water, and energy blocks, ready to conquer. BUT! Even though I did everything that I could, at mile 9 I was completely done… I had no energy left and my tonsils were pulsing so badly. The pain was something like I was stepping on my throat! I never experienced that much pain before and I looked around me. There was no one that I knew, people were running, having fun and I felt so alone. I could not explain how the emotional stage was so tough… I thought the only way to meet my friends was to finish. Traffic is closed and everybody I know is running and the rest of my friends will arrive at the finish line for about 3-4 hours later. I told myself “You ain’t gonna stop! You have no choice but to finish.” Thankfully there was a medical tent. I saw the doctor and she looked at my throat and said: “you cannot even walk, your tonsils are very swollen and red.” I said “No, you did not understand why I stopped, I want you to give me something to kill the pain. I worked for this so hard and I am going to finish even if I have to walk.” She said “I am sorry but if you’re already taken pain killers, that is all you can do right now. I can’t do anything you need to get tested and rest. Listen to your body and let me put you in a shuttle which will take you to the finish line.” And then she added one sentence that pushed me into my emotions which was “There will be more marathons that you can run but today is not your day.” I started sobbing on her shoulders while still telling her that I worked so hard for this, please do something to kill the pain so that I can finish it!” But I ended up listening to her and left the course.
Find Joyy! in your journey
So it wasn’t meant to be for me to run the full marathon (at least this year) but it taught me a lot about being disciplined on something, not giving up, believing in me, believing in God, trusting my body, being dedicated about my nutrition, AND enJOYYing the journey! Maybe if I finished that line, I wouldn’t have learned or recognized all these accomplishments that I had already done. Maybe I wouldn’t appreciate this much the time I spent with my friends while training for the marathon. Always, there is always something we need to learn in our journey and sometimes it happens in hard ways like in my situation where it was so painful to be sick but also very painful to accept that it wasn’t my day to cross that finish line.
I recognized and appreciated the times when I spent with my friends during our training time. Every time we met, it was so much fun. We went to different trails to do our miles. We always took time to stop and enjoy during our run, always took photos and always found something to be happy about. And, I kept hearing one sentence from Rosa, who was actually the reason I signed up for the marathon, she always told me “Just enjoy it, don’t think about it.” Also what marathon training helped me to improve was my relationship with God, which was priceless. I had to learn to be more faithful and just face my fears. Because I trained with people who were all so faithful and strong. They were all so positive and believed in me, they pushed through me to achieve something that I could never imagine in my life.
Today, I am proud to say that “I GAVE it ALL and ENJOYYed the journey.”
Now is Your Turn!
Think about something that you work so hard for, not necessarily think that you have to get to the destination you want (I hope you will) but think about what you are doing now differently to achieve that goal, what are you focusing on more in your life, and what you are learning in the journey. Think about all those people around you who support you on that specific goal, what you do with them, what they tell you, what you feel… Address all the feelings and changes in your life and write them down. You will see how far you have changed since you started that journey. You will see by the end of that process how much you have grown as an individual.
Just remember life is a journey and it is amazing to live it; amazing to learn from one another.
And, it is not about the destination that we need to reach, but about the journey, we need to enjoyy
** Share your thoughts with me; comment below or send me an email
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