And we are here! Time to start running! I met other ‘Wave 1’ people in my start corral. It was nice to not be alone. Ha! We had to snap a selfie. I was thankful my friend back in Richmond told me to run with my phone. It started sooner than I thought. No, literally, it was not quite 1030 and the gun went off. I was not ready! Phone was out, I was trying to snap a pic of a man with a ‘Brevard’ sweatshirt on, for my parents that live there, in NC. The picture did not come out and I was unprepared. But! Here we go!
Mile 1 was tough, straight up 174 ft in elevation, crosswind of 40+ mph gusts that made me think I may trip over my legs behind me, then mile 1.5-2 back down 174 ft in elevation
off of the bridge .. all I wanted was to get out of the wind. I wasted my energy to get off of the bridge as quickly as possible. Mile 1 was 9:37. Mile 2 was 7:31. WAY too fast for mile 2. Then, I was excited and caught up in the crowds of Brooklyn. All of me just wanted to have fun and run. My logical side of me wanted to qualify for the Boston marathon. These two counterparts warred within my brain throughout the race with brute force.
Lesson – I was wearing a sweatshirt that said “Brasil” on it. It was the bright yellow and green Brasil colors. A friend of mine back in Richmond had given me pretty much all of my gear to wear and toss at the start. As well as the backpack I had been toting around NYC. Blessing! So I realize, at mile 3, after tossing the windbreaker that I was blessed to have received at the ferry terminal (cool story – not everyone got those, I think they were only for volunteers .. but I happened to be seated next to the box in the terminal and asked for one when they opened the box up. It helped blunt the wind against me. I went tot toss it off around mile 3 in Brooklyn and it just so happened that a friend from Richmond was right there where I was going to toss it! He was dressed up as a crayon box. Great team support! I now have this poncho back with me at home in Richmond. How cool?!)
So! I now was wearing this Brasil sweatshirt around my neck and over my shoulders and getting A LOT of people yelling at me from the crowds, “Go, Brasil!” “Yeah, Brasil!” They were SO excited and SO supportive! Now, I am not Brasilian. But after a mile of them cheering me on as if I were, I decided to go with it. My roommate and another good friend of mine are both Brasilian. I thought to myself, “they would be proud!” A man with a half-Ironman shirt on running next to me was Brasilian as well, apparently. He started speaking to me in Portuguese, and all I could do is smile and nod and laugh. It was mile 8, I did not want to use energy to discourage him and let him know I was not Brasilian and had no idea what he had just sad. It did, however, make me want to learn my Portuguese as my roommate had been encouraging me to do. Has everyone heard of Duolingo?
So those are all the details for me to tell you about the lesson I learned .. everyone cheered me on as if I were Brasilian, many of those being Brasilians themselves and accepting me as one of their own. I didn’t have to be born in Brasil. I didn’t have to have Brasilian descent. I simply had to put on the Brasil sweatshirt. And run. It taught me a deep revelation about the grace of God – how alike it is to this same scenario .. All we do is receive Christ, ‘put Him on’ as some Scripture states (Romans 13:14, Galatians 3:27) And we are in the club, in the kingdom, one of God’s people. This is precisely why He sent Jesus in the first place, to reconcile us into relationship with Him! Thus, within His family, we get all the family benefits! Amazing to me.
The rest of the race was a blur. I connected dots in my life that led up to that very moment. Like, for instance, (now, bear
with me, I was not trying very hard to do this, but) I have raced triathlons and rode on my bike with others and learned a bit about drafting .. that tall Brasilian man was a GREAT person to be close to when blasts of wind came at us through Brooklyn! Small detail. BIG difference!
It is amazing to me, truly, how God orchestrates each and every detail of our lives. Things that we seem to consider as small, minute, unimportant details, that are uniquely placed together in a fashion that lead us into what God’s will is for us. I have spent many a day and night being anxious and concerned about falling out of the will of God .. only to realize that I was in His will all along! He knew exactly where I was, at all times, and would not let me step out of His plan for me, because of my heart, my true desire to be doing whatever He has for me to do in my life. THAT is where my true satisfaction, passion, and joy comes from. I am ECSTATIC writing this right now and living from the mountaintop view of this realization! #thankful | http://youtu.be/NbuUYKV528s | http://youtu.be/PRn94BmSXDM |
The last few miles made this race the toughest I have ever done. I felt like I would run through Central Park forever. I got kinda negative. I walked a little. I grumbled a little. I picked myself back up and finished as strongly as I could. I was amazed at the end, the prize I received was not my time, but a deeper self-respect of pushing myself when it sucked. It was an overwhelming feeling. So many times, I have gotten upset because one thing in my life was not perfect. I am truly blessed with so many things, family, friends, relationships, experiences, business, influence and purpose, and yet I would hone in on one thing and think that my entire life stunk because of it. It is in my personality. I strive to become better, always. I like challenges, I enjoy solving problems, and when I find one, I tackle it. Strong.
My finish and my emotions told me that I needed to look at what I did receive, not at what I did not get. Sometimes, our concept of what ‘victory’ is looks a lot different than what God’s knowledge and truth of what victory is. It’s not a cop out because I did not get my time, I truly had a deep victory at the finish of my NYC marathon. I laugh, because it was almost the worst time for a 26.2 I have gotten. Almost. 😉 From months of training alone, months of eating according to what would help my body recover and perform best, months of working on my mind and mentality, months of persevering. This was my prize | http://youtu.be/FmpltOXhJhU