“No one who achieves success does so without acknowledging the help of others. The wise and confident acknowledge this help with gratitude.” – Alfred North Whitehead
Yesterday, I ran the Bear Water Run, the last long run before the Twin Cities marathon three weeks from today. They offered a 10 and 20 mile option, twice around White Bear Lake. Lined up with a few hundred others, I thought of the training runs I did by myself to get me to this last long run. It was encouraging to be with others on the same journey with their own stories. A few blocks in to the run, my brother John and sister-in-law Tina were on bikes waiting to follow along, checking in every few miles.
As I was approaching the end of the first 10 mile lap around the lake, I thought of 2004 when I ran this event for my first marathon training. I had IT band injury from running on uneven pavement, so I was concerned if I would even finish the 20 miler. As I turned the corner for the first 10 miles, Dad was standing there to make sure I was ok. He came back at the end of the run too.
Learning the lessons from my first marathon, I felt much better after the first 10 miles yesterday. Anna then joined me for the second 10 miles lap around the lake. She pulled me along with her fresh legs, conversation and walking with me when the toll of the hills started to work on my knees and ankles. When we were two miles out, putting it all in a bite-sized perspective, she noted “only 20 minutes left”, then 10 minutes, one mile left. She even let me finish a step ahead of her. When we were at a the “you finished” lunch (beer) with Mom, Dad, John, Tina and Anna, the texts messages came rolling in from friends checking to see how I did.
In our daily life, we can often feel like we are alone, doing the “long runs” by ourselves. Yesterday, reminded me that we are never alone. Life is a team sport. We need only look up and around and see the gifts of family and friends – our cheering section, running along our side, making the journey complete.