I was never a big fan of looking back. As they say, "You're not going that way". But sometimes, reflecting isn't such a bad thing.
I wasn't. In fact, I have become more negative since being able to run again.
I wrote during a dark time;
"You are not damaged goods. You are not your failed attempts at success. You are not your mistakes. You are your lessons learned. You are your victories on your way to success. You are the strength because of your obstacle."
I now realize that what I have endeavored has nearly put me right back in the same place as before I got injured a year ago. Being able to run again is not a chore, but training for the Boston Marathon has made me feel like it is. But it honestly is the biggest privilege I have ever been graced with.
I spent a lot of time last year writing about how my injury and Boston getting taken away from me was all a part of God's plan, that in His time, I would get a second chance at something I had worked so hard for.
I'm lucky enough to continue running with a torn hip labrum, to get a second chance at the marathon of my dreams, and yet, people are telling me I inspire them. But lately, I don't even feel like I deserve to be there. Yes, I earned my qualifying time, but that was a year and a half ago. I can't even touch the times I was running then.
I'm coming to terms with the fact that that's okay. I'm allowed to feel that way. I'm allowed to feel defeated and unworthy. I am entitled to those feelings, but that does not mean that they are my truth.
Last year, I made the decision to back out of the marathon in order to let my hip recover without doing even more damage.
"I told myself I would crawl, walk, drag myself across that Boston Marathon finish line. But for what? To say that I completed the most prestigious marathon in history? Why does this marathon hold more power over me than any other one before? Does it mean anything if you do it while injured? Does it make you a better runner if you run it? Does it make you less of a person if you drop out? Do you base your worth off of the miles that you run?
What are you trying to prove, and to whom? You didn't come this far to only come this far, but you also didn't come this far to potentially risk an injury that could turn into something much worse. See, for the longest time, I based my worth off of two simple letters: PR."
Reflecting back, I'm able to put myself in those shoes of a 20-year-old girl who feels like she had just wasted the last three years of her life. I poured my heart and soul into running, and yet, I was still mature enough to walk away. I was so in touch with my physical and mental well being that I was able to sacrifice my dreams. I admire that girl, and I miss her.
It's therapeutic to know I did everything I possibly could to show up healthy for this marathon. I'm finally getting my chance. My time to prove to myself, and no one else, that I am capable of anything I set my mind to. I was told that I would never be able to run a marathon again, and if I had listened to them, then they would've been right.
But I chose to get up and fight every single day, for this exact moment. I have been dreaming of this for the last year, and now it's finally here, and the only thing I can find myself doing is doubting myself.
So, this week is really about choosing faith over doubt, time after time. I'm choosing to trust my training plan. I'm choosing to have faith that my hip is healthy and ready for a grueling 26.2-mile race. I'm choosing to believe that, when I run with my heart, anything and everything is possible.
While this last year has solely been focused on my hips' recovery, I know there is a much bigger underlying transformation taking place. I eat more foods I enjoy, I drink wine when I want, and I go out with my friends without fear of "ruining" my training. I have learned to live my life to its fullest, or as much as a college student can. I have lost some of the most important people in my life, and I have gained some pretty awesome ones, too.
As I toe that line in five days, I know that I will cross that finish line and feel something I've never felt before. I'm not only turning the page, but closing a pretty extraordinary chapter. So, if you've been reading and I've let you down in any way, I'm not sorry. I know I'm not that feisty, fiery, and fierce girl whose heart was lit up by running.
As soon as I step on that line, my patience, perseverance, and passion will come out to play on Monday. I'm so excited to see what I can do when I'm not focused on a personal best or Boston qualifying time. The story has come full circle. I'm ending up in the place I have worked so incredibly hard for over the last four years. I get one shot to soak up all the love Boston has to offer.
I can't wait to lace up and run. Rain or shine, it's go time.