On October 20th, a week and a half ago, I completed a marathon!
Not ran, a marathon. No. Completed a marathon!
Once school started, my training went down the drain. My idealistic self had reasoned that training for a marathon would be the perfect incentive to keep exercising through the transition back to school, but reality proved differently. I’m certainly thankful for the benefits of keeping fit as I started this new phase of my life, but marathon training was a bit too much of a time commitment.
Given how unprepared I felt, I would not have insisted on doing the race were it not for two things. 1. This race was to support a worthy cause! And 2. I’d convinced my friend, Michael, to run the race with me (Kiran would have too but for a visa mix-up). He stayed with me the whole time even though he really didn’t have to! (I’m so blessed with such faithful friends.) Even after Kimmy joined us (around mile 18?) and I told him he could run ahead with her, he stayed and walked with me to the finish 🙂
It was such a joy to see Alanna and Erin at almost every turn as they drove from one point on the course to the next. They’d walk with us, lift me up, encourage us, and supply drugs when necessary. haha. Licit drugs! Each time someone would show up to offer support, I was moved to tears by the kind gesture. And Kiran was riding bike support carrying food and drink supplies – so awesome!
In spite of the knee, then ankle, then hip pains that riddled my body, it was so much fun hanging out with everybody! Seven hours, 14minutes and 3 seconds later, we crossed the finish line! My friend’s dad ran a marathon the same day and finished, legit, in half the time! And I’m sure with less joint pain…haha.
But there they were…Our friends…Waiting for us at the bottom of the final hill…Cheering us on to the finish! What a blessed gift friendship is!
There were several people who started the race but did not make it to the finish. I saw them sitting in the sweeper bus as I frantically scampered to prove to the sweepers I needed no sweeping – I’m so over that, thank you very much! Were it not for friends who encouraged me, who knows, I may have been one of those who got swept up!
Knowing how I “earned” my medal, there’s no way I could claim bragging rights for completing this marathon. I just count it a blessing.
And how does this relate to “loving from a distance?” Well, when I shared with my family back home that I’d completed a marathon, they were elated and my Dad, in particular, sent me a message saying that he was proud of me. I had been thinking a lot about how I could show my parents that I love them even though I’m so far away from home. Then it hit me!
If my life can make them proud, if my actions can bring them joy, then in thus honoring them I show them my love.
And so it is with our heavenly Father. We love Him by doing those things that please Him and in particular, by loving those He loves.
So this medal means love to my family and love to my Father. And whenever I look at it, I’ll remember the love of my friends!