A cold and lightly windy morning greeted me as the alarm trilled in my ear this morning. Race day.
A deep breath in. A shower. A hug from Mum. Messages from the loveliest of friends all over the world and at home.
These are the moments that got me on the road this morning.
What a lovely road it was. Down from the mountain we ran, around the lake, over the water, and back again. Rising, falling: the road ahead, our footsteps, our breathing. Cheering for those who pass by. Smiles for the tired. Camaraderie created by our pursuit of a common goal.
The chant in my head, a refrain from ‘Rent: the musical’, my running mantra: ‘No Day But Today‘. I write it on my arm before every race or long run. There is no day but today, no moment to be but right here. I cannot come back tomorrow. I have to show up today and give this race the best I have. Leave it all on the road. Learn the lessons that it offers to me: stay in the present, get lost in the beauty of this moment, have faith in yourself, just breathe Amy.
There were moments when it felt too hard. There were moments when it felt so easy. In the end there was only one moment that mattered: the finish line.
Mum’s face in the crowd with ten meters to go. My favourite running song playing through my head phones. The cheers.
The wetness of my tears against my face as Mum wrapped her arms around me and told me how proud of me she was.
In the quietness that follows a run like this, the achievement of a goal, there is a chance to reflect on all that we are grateful for in our pursuit:
- My family, friends, and everyone who has supported me on this journey. People I am lucky enough to be able to give a hug to and thank in person and all those I have connected with across wide web world. My heartfelt thanks to each and every one of you. I know I was not alone today because your words, your thoughts, kept me company out there on the road.
- My body. I am so grateful to be this healthy. To have a heart that can take the rise and fall of a million beats in pursuit of a finish line. Lungs that burn in the right way as they take what they need from the air around me. Legs that have grown strong as I have made my way from the girl I used to be to the woman I am today.
Now I sit back and review each step of that 21.1km. Each second of my 2:20:47 finishing time. And I smile.
There is no day but today. And I made today mine.