Today, I am one-month post-NYC Marathon finish, which honestly is a very strange place to be. As much as race day was cause for celebration, in equal measure today is a day of reflection and reckoning.
In the months-long build up to the race, I stretched myself beyond any comfort zone I have ever known, and not just in training up to the 26.2 miles. There also was the decision to write about the experience of running, and to share it with anyone who happened upon it. There was a lot of personal angst and apprehension wrapped up in my decision to chase both pursuits, but I always felt like I had a safety net underneath me. If, after completing the marathon, I decided I wasn’t a runner after all, I could just quietly hang up my sneakers and, I don’t know, swim? And if my writing did not catch fire, my blog and essays on life would gently drift off into the virtual cloud.
Well, neither of those backup plans is going to happen.
The unexpected discovery over the past several months has been how much I love and crave my time running and writing. Running provides a release that clears my mind and grounds me for whatever is next. Writing scratches a creative itch that I have had since I was twelve but have ignored for the better part of my adult life. Discovering each again has been a gift beyond measure.
I love the camaraderie of runners at a race start line, the knowing and encouraging nods between runners signaling mutual respect and good will, and the sweaty-spent feeling after a run that comes with the knowledge that I took it on and left it all out on the road.
I love finding the right word. I love looking at the world through a new prism that challenges me to make sense of life’s chaos, and the process of creating something – thoughts, words, sentences – out of nothing. I love that through the solitary experience of writing, I never have felt more connected.
I have a marriage and a career, kids and pets, and more goals than time. But I am convinced of this: pursuing my passions is what makes it all complete.
You just have to open yourself up a little wider to let more life in.