Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Dear Mom - I survived a half-marathon

Dear Mom,

Remember when you bought me those purple spandex pants to wear to dance class when I was 13? I was a little skeptical to wear them to class that night, but you insisted that they were “cute” and all the other girls in the class would be jealous. They literally pointed and laughed at me when I walked in.  That experience was really only half as bad as the time you picked out a metallic, shiny, long-sleeve button up for me to wear to the 8th grade winter dance.

Mom…you gave really terrible fashion advice.

I don’t know why that popped into my head the other day as I was searching for a shirt to wear on race day. I opted for a clearance, gray dry-fit shirt. I tossed out your loud, and unique fashion advice years ago but I’ve held onto your advice on thrifty shopping. Thanks for that.

A little over two years ago I weighed almost 370 pounds. I’m glad you never saw me like that, because I’m sure you would have blamed yourself. Which is strange, because I kind of blamed you. Even though I was always overweight, I blamed your death for causing me to completely give up. But here I am, nearly 180 pounds down…and happy.

I did something this weekend I never thought I’d do. I ran a half-marathon. I finished it in less than three hours. For a girl who “ran” an 18:30 mile two years ago, that’s pretty good. Of course I was disappointed in my overall time, but not for long. I thought about what you would have said had you been there and I know you would have been pissed had I chosen to dwell on my time instead of the great accomplishment of finishing.

Eric and I trained several months for this. You never met Eric, but you would have loved him. He pushed me through some really difficult runs and difficult parts of life. He’s now stood by me through the two biggest accomplishments of my life and of course has absolutely no idea just how important he’s been to me.  I cried in his arms when I finished the race. He probably didn’t know that either. Knowing he would be there when it was over, kept me going.

Dad was there too. He has offered such unbelievable support for me over these past few years. He was cheering for me along the course and he was waiting for me at the finish line. I knew he’d be crying too since he cries at everything just like me. He might be the only other person in my life who realized the importance of that moment and I’ll forever be grateful that I got to share it with him.

I was going to tell you about how it rained cats and dogs for most of the race and how my leg cramped the last tenth of a mile. But really I just wanted to tell you that it happened. I crossed the finish line.  Eric and I celebrated with giant beef burgers and beer. Then we went to a really fun wedding that night and danced all night, even though it hurt to move.

Mom. Life is short. You would know that better than anyone. I guess some days feel incredibly long, like you might never make it through.  But Saturday was one of those days that I want to bottle up and replay on those difficult days. The only way that day could have been any better would have been having you there.

I’m still high off the weekend. I’m high off the accomplishment, fun, and love that I have in my life. I expected the world to stop for awhile when I finished that race. But it kept moving like it always does. Two days later and Eric is already asking me what’s next? What a great gift, to be blessed with time.

 We’re moving onto our next goal, but I wanted to just take a quick minute to let you know I survived and how happy I am.  I still miss you and wish you could be a part of such a transformative part of my life. That was clear this weekend. But I have some great people in my life Mom, and while they don’t have the answer to everything like you seemed to…they DO give better fashion advice.