I spent a beautiful Saturday afternoon at at track meet this past week. It was a beautiful day and fun to see my niece participate. I love standing up and yelling for her in that very short time that she races by the bleachers.
As much as I love that moment of celebrating Ellie and her magnificent speed, there is something about track meets that makes my stomach tight. I am often surprised at how I ache for the last place runners. I glance around to see if I can identify if they have anyone cheering them on. Something in me feels for them, wants to cheer like a fool for them and silently prays for them. I love the thrill of the first place runner and I so hope that first place runner won’t lap the last place runner. I think you can understand my angst.
There is something I admire about that last place runner. I think about how I would want to quit, try to make them believe I was in the front of the pack, or just feel all out discouraged.
But what I am most inspired by, whether it be a first place runner, last place runner or anyone in between is the perseverance I see in every one who is out there competing.
Tonight I heard the story of the Boston Marathon runner who finished at 4 am, after 20+ hours of running. The article included this….
Day turned to night, and Maickel Melamed kept going.
Drizzle became downpour, and Melamed kept going.
About 20 hours into his journey and Melamed continued, one step at a time. People around him donned ponchos and held umbrellas high, trying to block the deluge. And when Melamed paused, overcome by exhaustion or pain, they were there, holding him and chanting, willing him along Boylston Street, the final competitor in the 26.2 mile Boston Marathon that started Monday morning.
Melamed, 39, has muscular dystrophy, but it hasn’t stopped him from completing marathons in New York, Berlin, Chicago and Tokyo.
And I wonder what am I willing to exercise my perseverance for?
What is important enough to me for day to turn to night and drizzle to become downpour and none of that would deter me from my goal.
I am curious about what I will discover as I ponder that question….
What about you?
What are you fighting for for yourself or someone else? What does it look like to be inspired by the high school track team or the 39 year old marathon star. None of it has to do with ranking, all of it has to do with heart.
I want to be more like them.