Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Finish Line is the Only Way Home

I was done. I remember it well: mile 19 of the marathon, 36 degrees, pouring rain, wind, and I was exhausted. Stopping in my tracks on the sidewalk, I just wanted to lay down. I just wanted to quit. Take me to a warm place. I am done. But, the volunteers were mostly gone. There was no one to quit to. I was in an unfamiliar city very far from home, and had no idea where I was. There was only one way home: the course, the finish line. So, the miles of this journey, this day began with a single step; one step closer to the finish line. Just another step and another; it is the only way home. Over the years of racing and training, I have faced this demon many times and the answer is always the same: keep going forward, the course is the only way home. Times are that this journey grows weary and the elements seemed aligned against my effort to keep running "the race that is set before me." There have been many times I have not been able to run. But, I could always take that one step into that course before me, chiseling away in obedience at the distance between myself and the finish line; an act of faith both in the course, and the Course-Maker, and of course the finish line awaiting me, rewarding me for the many painful steps, with the words, "well done my faithful servant. You are My Ironman."