If you've read my book, Art Nurture: The Simple Guide to Cultivating Your Creativity, then you know I have trained for and run a marathon.
I'll give you the readers digest version. I had an amazing training season. I was on track to hit my goal. Not a injury, not an illness, not even sore! My recovery runs were going well from my long days and all was lining up better than I could have anticipated going into race day.
Then race day arrived and I awoke to something unexpected.
And, yes, I ran anyway.
DISCLAIMER: I do not in anyway endorse this choice for anyone else.
It was the best of times and it was the worst of times.
And I'll be honest with you... even though I didn't actually feel ok for any of the 26 miles of that race, it was the .2 at the end that was the real kicker.
That is the length of three and a half soccer fields plus 6 feet!
I was feeling rough, but I knew I was almost done.
The crowd is getting thicker along the edges of the race railing and you're searching for your cheering section. When all of a sudden, I see my little group. They have signs with my name on them. There was nice usage of glitter glue and bold markers. They are jumping up and down and screaming my name.
All of a sudden, as ragged-y as I had been the whole race, I picked up my pace and began sprinting as fast as I could. I heard one friend say, "How is she doing this?!" And then she started running along the sidelines with me until I crossed the finish line.
It took me an hour longer than I thought it would.
I learned a lot that day that has served me
in my creative life well.
I learned that I was capable of more than I thought.
I learned that, really no one would have judged me for stopping running that day. Really everyone would have understood. There is no judgement. Nothing to prove.
I learned that the "cheering section" of your life is extremely important. Especially when what you are pursuing is really challenging and takes a long time and makes you really tired. It's good to have good folks in your corner.
I learned that that day only happened because of two years of focused, dedicated, unwavering commitment and training. I had to show up. And show up I did.
Also, I learned that good running shoes and socks are worth the investment.
I definitely don't believe everyone has to run a marathon to learn this stuff. It was just a part of my journey.
But having an A+ cheering section in your corner, when you are completely exhausted, yet so close to completion of your creative endeavors...
I learned a lot about myself, projects, working with others, and allowing others to help.
I learned so much about the magic that happens when you let your community take part.
All that to say, I'm feeling pretty sentimental these days and feeling pretty grateful for my cheering section.