#95: What inspires you? Thank you Philly.

It’s sort of funny what the weeks following a race can do to you.  From hyper-focused and locked-in with every little part of daily life acting as part of a tightly scripted series of events……to a whole different animal, where it’s so easy to feel tired and lazy, where the day sort of “gets away” and often I’m left feeling like something is missing.  This is the time of my season when I start searching, just that little bit lost in the craziness, wondering when it’ll be time to get going again.  

It’s not that I need anything else to add to my plate really, there is so much on the parenting and professional front that I can easily dive into with gusto, but when you’ve put so much into something and then it’s gone, well……you mourn.  Sounds kind of silly when I read it back, but it’s about the closest description I can find that works……almost every athlete I know, especially those who complete endurance races goes through this some…..and up until today, I was in the thick of it.

So there I was, with the family loaded into the car on the way to Philadelphia to do a little mom 1/2 marathon chasing…..oh, and 15 or so other PACER friends who were running the event.  We got down to the 5K split and it was about what I expected…..lots of smiles still, lots of spring in the step as folks were still feeling so good…..and soon after seeing a group of our folks pass by, I decided we’d get to where the cheering really counts…..down near the homestretch, the place were some folks find that extra energy and some battle themselves those last 2-3 miles.  We found a shady spot somewhere just ahead of mile 11 and we set up camp.  And as my 3 (who have done this countless times now) went to work unraveling their homemade sign, positioning themselves where their “high-5-hand” was easily accessible and finding some upbeat music to stream, I stood back and watched as the racers, with faded smiles and bodies in pain went out of their way to get a high-5, or to find the energy to dance a little and smile or to simply say thank-you.  It’s an energy that is hard to describe if you’ve never been there….a connection that matters only for a few seconds, but matters nonetheless…..

So to the thousands that achieved a liberty-bell medal today by completing the Rock-n-Roll Philly 1/2 marathon…..I thank you.

Thank you for giving it your all.
Thank you for challenging yourself.
Thank you for showing my children the power of the human will, again.
Thank you for reinforcing that their parents aren’t (completely) crazy.
Thank you for defying the excuses.
Thank you for finding the time to train.
Thank you for showing the world that ANYTHING is possible.
Thank you for being an example to your friends and family.
Thank you for raising countless dollars for charity.
Thank you for finding fun in hard work.
Thank you for smiling through pain.
Thank you for vowing never to do this again…..and then doing it again.
Thank you for taking ownership of your health.

And most of all, thank you for being a doer of extraordinary things……you inspire me.


Mike E.