While out on a run just now with my son, my son pointed out some fanfare going on. Turns out a young woman who had been training for a marathon that was supposed to take place today (and was obviously canceled), with the encouragement of her mom and I presume husband/boyfriend, decided that if she ran 26.2 miles today, it was still a marathon. She didn't need all the other stuff (crowds, aid stations, medal, swag...) to be a marathoner. We cheered for her - she only had 10k left at that point.
At one point my son gestured toward a trail that was off the paved path. I thought hmmm, it is probably going to be super muddy, and as we headed onto it, unable to see what lay ahead, I thought about my first Ironman. I had trained for a measly 10.5 weeks (don't ask) and just before we left for the airport I asked my coach, what is my strategy? He said, the swim is your warm-up, the bike is more warm-up, and in the marathon, you just focus on running from aid station to aid station - they are spaced a mile apart. My only goal had been to finish before the 17 hour cutoff. Everything was fine until about mile 18 of the marathon, when the fact that I had never trained my digestive system for this collided with the fact that the race organizers had grossly underestimated how much toilet paper would be required for the event and it ran out hours earlier (sound familiar?). My coach's words "go from aid station to aid station" kept me focused in spite of complete discomfort and misery. And I trusted that if he believed I could do this, then it must be so. The marathon was dark, we were all spread out for those last few miles, and I sensed we were each quietly in this together. I finished a couple of hours before the cutoff.
Right now, we have no idea what lies ahead. Three weeks ago I could not have predicted so much of what is real right now. So I focus on right now, and on doing my best in this moment, and even if I can't see my fellow travelers, I know we are all in this together.
And I remind myself that this is my race, and someone else's race may look very different. It is easy to compare and think, "they have it so much easier than me" or "I have no right to complain, compared to how they have it" - but the reality is we all have our challenges and privileges and may be putting in different levels of effort, but it all matters. It all counts. And we each need to remember that we truly do not know what others are going through. So let us remember to show grace, to be kind, and to do so from 6 ft apart. We do not know what lies ahead, but there are some things we can control, so let's focus on that.
Wellness coach, athlete, mom, entrepreneur. I love helping people mindfully reboot their health & joy.