In many ways, January 1, 2020 doesn’t seem that long ago.
And yet so.much.has.happened.
At the beginning of the year, I was setting my goals and considered running two marathons this year. As I weighed my responsibilities, time and other goals, I decided it wasn’t feasible for 2020.
Yet here we are at the end of the year and I actually feel like I ran the two marathons… and then some.
Marathons require months of training and conditioning. Sure part of it is physical, but a huge part is mental, much like yoga. Arriving at the starting line means all of the preparation has been done, and now it’s time to enjoy the experience of it. To be present with the atmosphere, environment and those around me. To be present with the pain, my body, my thoughts and my breath. And to remember my why.
Because, yes there is a why.
And yes there is pain.
And holding both of them is critical because the why gives me the courage to be in the pain. And the knowledge that it’s part of the experience.
In my (limited) marathon experiences - those last miles are brutal. I know I’ll finish, but damn, it’s painful. It requires digging deep into all reserves to keep moving forward… feeling bolstered by a stranger cheering for me to keep going as they ring a cowbell, I’m panting, encouraging myself, trying to focus on something outside of myself, even yelling - all of this helps and builds as the finish line nears. And crossing that line means a great release. For me, that’s crying - with gratitude, with relief, with the knowledge that I did it, with amazement at what I’m capable of, with resolve. It’s not about the pain anymore. It’s about the gratitude of overcoming the obstacles, for my health, my breath, my body, my support system, those around me, this planet - it feels overwhelming, but it’s all there.
And that’s how I feel right now. Totally overwhelmed with gratitude. Feeling fatigue from the year, but also feeling that burst of hope and energy that has me saying “I’ll do it again!” at the end of every race.
While it feels like I’m nearing the finish line, I also feel like I’m gearing up for the next race. I find myself lacing up my proverbial shoes and building my mental, emotional and physical muscle for 2021 and what it may bring.
Acknowledging the pain, but also feeling immense gratitude.
Hope that we can acknowledge and learn from our mistakes. That we can hear, learn from, understand and support each other through our differences.
After all, we’re in this together.
Let’s lace up our shoes, grab our cowbells, link arms and support each other as we prepare for the year ahead.