What does a grown woman do when she gets in her head that she wants to do something completely illogical and ridiculous wondrous? What does she do when she realizes that — against all odds — she really could run 13.1 miles? What does she do when she realizes that after doing that absurdly beautiful thing back in May, she would try it a second time on a cool morning in September?
What would she do then?
She would bring along a few good friends, of course.
Because when someone realizes that she can do the thing
that seems illogical,
run the course that seems unreasonable,
cross the line that seems unreachable,
she wants others to know they can, too.
And we did it. We really did it!
We gathered on the grass near the starting line, stretched these muscles and — with words and prayers and hair tussles and hugs — calmed the butterflies that left us woozy.
We’d already earned our medals. We just had to run 13.1 miles to claim them.
So we ran through the streets and through the pain. We ran along trails, and alongside one another. Some of us felt like throwing our hands up in the air. Others of us, … well, we just felt like throwing up.
Some of the folks up there in that picture are real athletes — the kind who have trophies in cases and blue ribbons from high school days. And some were already signed up to run this event, but joined our team of fledgling runners to be a part of this crazy community with the yellow shirts.
But others — like me — we were the ones picked last. We remember the humiliating moments of every recess, waiting as team captains picked the superstars then the agile girls, and the brute boys, down the line until they reached the scrawny kid leaning into the chain-link fence.
I was everyone’s last choice.
But — for the second time in a year — I ran a half-marathon.
I had no hope of finishing first, or even finishing pretty, but I finished all the same.
We wore yellow shirts and steely determination. We called ourselves Team Got Wings, running with the promise of Isaiah 40:31 winging us along our route.
And we all finished. We slung medals around our necks, and some of us vowed to never, ever, EVER do something so ridiculous again. And today, some of us are nursing aches in the hips and knees. Even our toenails hurt.
Philipp, an exchange student from Germany who ran with us, wisely observed: “Isn’t it interesting how you can do something like this and feel so amazing, yet we felt so terrible at times while doing it?”
And his host-mama — a woman who’d never run until a few months ago — said life is like that, too. “We have to go through the yuk to get to the ‘amazing,'” she said.
And so we ran, with purpose in every step — through the yuk to reach the amazingly, absurdly beautiful finish.
And our family? They were on the sidelines, cheering our steps. (And there’s my favorite farmer, leaning in, aiming the lens as his crazy wife nears the finish line…)
And after I claimed my medal, I found a spot near the finish line to cheer on a friend …
We ran for the Children’s Miracle Network. The little boy on the far left is a miracle boy. His daddy, far right, and I served as “coaches” for Team Got Wings (and we use the term ‘coach’ loosely). ~smile~
In the middle are Philipp from Germany and his host-mama, Michelle.
And this here? This is our “tired” look …
Kind friends, What one absurdly beautiful thing would you like to try? What would it take to step across the line and go for it?