Saturday, May 1, 2010

Resolve to Finish


Today I was fortunate enough to stare tenacity in the face. Today I was priviledged to witness a woman do something that she never believed possible of herself. Today, I was in the front row of seeing a dream come true and it was amazing. From walking that road myself, to seeing it happen once again to someone in my life, I will never cease to be amazed at what one can do if someone just believes they can. How far one person will push themselves just because someone told them they could. When I crossed the finish line of my first marathon, it wasn't because I was the fastest. Or the best runner. It was because I had the tenacity to endure. The resolve to finish. When I watched, in December, my friend Amy Jones cross the finish line at the Jingle Bell run, it wasn't because she was the fastest on the course either. It was because she has it in her to finish what she started. And she did. Today, I had the highest honor of running a 5k with a novice. A fifty four year old novice. A woman who never saw herself as a runner, yet she is. A woman who had a stroke when she was my age, ran with wild abandon. A woman who has set goals for herself, not waiting for next year, next month or even next week; but NOW. A woman I am so proud to call my friend. I first met Sharon Martin a few months ago when she asked if I could help her run. How humbling! Me? Could I help her? And what exactly did I KNOW about running? Enough to help? Enough to answer her questions? To encourage her? When I had my own struggles I was dealing with. But I tried. She is a natural, I tell ya. ;) I didn't need to help Sharon learn to run. I needed to help Sharon see she could ALREADY run. What an easy task. Never say never. Try it before you say you can't. And then watch yourself do it. And she did. She did so well.

It reminds me of my father. How he would encourage me to try new things. To run the 400 meter dash right after the 300 meter hurdles. To high jump (I was bad) and to long jump (I was worse..). To throw the javelin (I rocked!). To see you don't have to be the best. The fastest. The most notable person on the court, the field, or the track. You just have to have the heart to do it, the audacity to stick to it, and the resolve to finish it. After all of these years, Dad, I finally get it.

It doesn't matter how you finish the race. It matters that you started. That you took that first step. And then the second. That on that day, you did the best you could. That you encourage others, celebrate their highs, and walk with them through their lows. And most of all, that you always have the resolve to finish what you start. With grace, with pride, and with knowledge that whatever you thought you could not do, with God and good friends, there is no limit.

Thank you, Sharon, for reminding me that life is not a sprint, it's a marathon. I'm proud to have run a bit of it by your side. Carry on, Sole Sister, carry on.