Monday, October 13, 2008
Greetings fellow Network of Love Lovers,
Yesterday I completed the Chicago Marathon! I am very proud of that accomplishment and after many prayers, hard work, and support from friends and family, I can say that I did something I never thought I would ever do. In all honesty, I'm excited for the next marathon I run. My final time was about 3 hours and 43 minutes, which puts me only 1 hour and 37 minutes behind the Kenyan runner who won the race. Haha. Well, the headband I wore during the race says "in my DREAMS I am a Kenyan." So, in my dreams, I was running stride for stride with Evans Cheruiyot, the winner of the marathon.
But in all seriousness, the race was an incredible experience that opened my eyes to the diversity of people who run and the determination each and every runner came to the race with. There were us young folk running, there were middle age persons (one woman from Grand Rapids who I met before the race had given birth eight months ago. Here she was, trim and ready to run a full marathon! Wow. Determination, resilience, will.
We all ran for a purpose. Some of us wanted to say we could do it, never thought we would. Some of us were running for charity, myself included. Some of us were running for family and friends who had supported our running for years. Some of us ran because we enjoy the crisp feeling of the wind hitting our face, the sun shining down on us, our feet moving freely, our mouth smiling, our spirit content with not a care in the world. Anxieties become unacceptable thoughts as a runner plunges ahead to mile 16, 17, 18. What gets us through the race is the support of people we cherish: friends, family, companions. I remember the crowd from yesterday. They pushed me to the end. I remember thinking about people close to me and they helped pushed me to the finish. I remember thinking about my Creator, the beauty that can be found in tender moments in this life. That pushed me to the edge, a runner's edge, an end that is an accomplishment.
I am grateful for all who supported me. I thank God for being able to run, it has been and I hope will continue to be one of the lasting joys of my life.
God, help us all run fearlessly into the finish line, into the arms of our loved ones, into the arms of a world that needs assistance, light and hope. Help us realize the difficulties of the race, but help us pursue the end of that race, PEACE, JOY and Love for all sisters and brothers.
Peace and Amen.
with love to all my friends,
your friend bob.