Every morning and every night, I try to tell my son encouraging words. In the morning, I usually tell him things like, “You’re so beautiful”, “You’re so intelligent”, “You’re awesome” and I usually say “I’m proud of you”. At night before he goes to bed, if I put him down, “I’m very proud of you”, “Thank you for helping me out today” and more than anything I tell him, “You can do anything you want in this world, son.” Empowering him, empowers me. If Im going to tell him these things, I have to live out these words for myself. I can’t tell him he can do anything in this world, if I don’t believe that to be true for myself. I truly believe anything you want to accomplish, you can accomplish it.
This year, one of my personal goals was to complete a marathon. I declared this goal on January 3rd of this year. Once I put that goal into the atmosphere, a buddy of mine suggested we should run the Miami Marathon on January 25th. I should lets do it. Even though professionals suggest training at least 8-12 weeks for a marathon, we were going to run it on less than 4 weeks of training. I told my son, my 18 month old son, “I’m going to run and finish a marathon this month.” At that moment, I felt so unstoppable.
Fast forward, to January 17th (my birthday). The marathon is 8 days away and I have yet to register or get proper running shoes, and do my due diligence in gearing up for a marathon. Financially, I couldn’t afford new shoes, lighter running gear and most importantly, I couldn’t afford to register! So reverted back to my old ways. I gave in. I ran into an obstacle and I said “Oh well”. I started looking into upcoming marathons and decided “Next time. Next time I’ll run.” But I gave my word. I went around for the past couple weeks telling everyone I will run a marathon on January 25th. I told the naysayers I didn’t need 12 weeks of training. If Oprah, Diddy and Will Ferrell can run a marathon, I could finish a marathon. Most importantly, I told my son I would run. But I can’t afford to run in the Miami Marathon. There’s was nothing I could do.
A week later, January 24th, then night before the marathon. My family and I went to dinner over a friend’s house. As I sat at the table, I over hear two people saying how they are going to run tomorrow. “I wish I could run,” I said. “I waited to long to register.” I lied. I was ashamed. No offense, but I’m a better athlete than these two, I’m just broker at the moment. As the night went on, I crash on the couch and sit next to one of the party goers. “I’m running tomorrow too,” she said. I tried my best to hide my bewilderment. ‘She’s running tomorrow?’ I thought. But all I did was question her strategy in the most positive manner and wished her luck. I was sincere but again I felt shame. I left the dinner and just sat in my car for a moment. 2015 was only a few weeks in and here I am already flaking on myself, letting myself down and lying to my son. My son would forgive me. He won’t remember me making that vow. Daddy didn’t have the money to run.
As I drove home, it hit me. I didn’t need the money to pay to run. I just needed 26.2 miles. It is true, where there’s a will there’s a way.
I woke up this past Sunday, January 25th at 4:30 am. I did my morning pages and meditation as I drank my warm water with lemon and mint leaves on the balcony of my apartment. I had no idea how to mark off 26.2 miles. Then the quote from Forrest Gump came to my mind, “I just felt like running.” So at about 5:45 am with my worn out Nikes, the gear I already own, my iPod and one 16 oz bottle of water just started running.
Mile 9: I felt motivated
Mile 13: I felt unstoppable but I was running low on water with no money to buy more on me.
Mile 15: I stopped to use the bathroom and sipped water from the bathroom sink.
Mile 18: I hit my wall. My legs no longer wanted to run.
“I can’t lie to my son”
Mile 21: My groin tightened up on me and my whole left leg is throbbing in pain. I stopped to stretch. I even called my lady to bring me gatorade.
“Are you going to die?” she asked. My son was in the backseat, I saw him and I said to her “I might but I gotta keep going.”
Mile 23: I have 3.2 miles left and I don’t know how Im going to get them. I can barely walk and running is out of the question. But I stood up, set off 3 miles in my head and challenged my self to FINISH.
The hardest steps were those last 2/10 of a mile but I finished. I ran a marathon! I didn’t have a medal to validate me. I didn’t get a picture finishing the race. I didn’t have a crowd to cheer me on. But when I walked in the door, I looked my son in the eye and I said, “you can do anything you want in this world, son.” I didn’t lie to my son.