I waved to my hubby and set off to line up for my very first marathon. It was a nice LA morning in March and I could tell it would be a warm day. I found the starting area and excitedly took my place. It was getting close to starting time and a guy around my age fell in step next to me. He smiled and we exchanged greetings.
He asked, "Is this your first marathon?" "Yea, how about you?" With a smile of accomplishment he answered, "this is my second I ran Honolulu in December with the Arthritis Foundation and this time I'm raising money for the AIDS Foundation." "Wow, that's really great." "How long did you train?," he asked. "I've been training for 2 1/2 whole months!" With his head slightly cocked and a sympathetic look, he responded, "Our training program was 6 months." "Six months?!"
He looked at me as though searching for something, "Where's your water bottle?" "Oh, I read they would have water here." "Well, they will at every mile but it's good to have your own. Did you bring GU?" Wrinkling my nose, I responded, "GU, what's that? I brought was my cell phone and lip gloss."
"What pace are you running?" he asked with a hint of rising panic. "Pace? Well we told my friends that we would meet them for breakfast." With a sympathetic look, he hugged me, "Just run with me honey, I'll take care of you."
The stranger stayed with me for the first 7-8 miles talking and offering tips. We were separated by the massive crowd of 20,000 runners when I spotted my husband in the crowd and ran toward the sidelines to report my progress. Luckily that day I encountered many other kind souls who helped me as I prodded toward the finish line.
"It takes a community to maintain a human." --Earon Davis, Gaia Community
I discovered that as you're running your own race you don't have to run alone. As you pursue your goal there will always be people who are willing to help. Some may be at the starting line like you and others may have run the same race many times. Some will run with you for a mile or two, some may get you to the halfway point and others may run with you the whole way.
Here at Words For Hire, Fridays have been designated "Fierce Friday" which we celebrate by giving a shout out to fierce people who inspire, encourage and motivate. On this fierce Friday, I'd like to thank those that have run with me thus far on this writing / blogging journey.
Joanna also introduced me to Yvonne Russell who graciously extended the opportunity to to write my very first guest post. I met Ellen Wilson as we navigated Elance. She is smart, funny, honest and has become a great friend that inspires me to stay on goal. The Men With Pens have not only offered personal support, and helpful hints but they have graciously shared their community of friends.
As you run your race, you are not alone. Whatever your pursuit I guarantee others will run with you. And of course, you can always come here for a word of encouragement or hearty cheer.
How about you, who have you met as you were running you race? What impact did that have on you?