Picking up from Why Do People Do This?, I was at the place where my body began to argue with my mind. The pain in my legs was telling me to quit, and my mind was screaming, “THERE’S NO WAY!!! WE’RE NOT QUITTING SO GET OVER IT!”
Which worked for a while. Until my body started really convincing my mind that the guy who owns them both is an idiot for putting them in this situation. In fact, my body didn’t see any reason to participate in the upcoming County Music Half Marathon. That’s when my mind really began to fight back. It began to tell my body that we weren’t giving up no matter what. I tried to run from time to time, but five steps into it I had to walk again, it just hurt that much.
That’s when something interesting began to happen. My body literally tried to stop right there on the road. I felt my body try to shut down without my minds approval. It was one of the weirdest feelings I have ever had. I was shocked that it could even happen. About six times between mile ten and eleven my body tried to just stop, but my mind wouldn’t let it. “GET GOING!!! WE DON’T GIVE UP!!! YOU CAN DO THIS!!!”
In mile twelve I prayed for a guy who was sitting on the tailgate of a truck with some paramedics around him. Shortly after, he ran passed me. Ugh! A few minutes later, the power walkers blew by me. YOU GOTTA BE KIDDING ME! At this point I had been walking for three miles with feeble attempts at running. But I only had a half mile left, and I convinced myself that I could run across that finish line. I tried to run, but couldn’t.
That’s when the gentleman in the picture above in the black shirt passed me. “THAT’S IT! RUN THROUGH THE PAIN!” So I did. The first ten steps felt like four gang members were beating my legs with bats. But there was no way I was going to let that guy beat me, and there was no way I was walking across that finish line.
Within a few minutes I was side by side with the other gentleman. Now, it was no Chariots of Fire, but it felt like it. While it seemed like I blew by him, it probably took about a minute to actually make it happen. That’s when I saw the best thing on the planet…friends! At the last turn before the finish line I saw Marybeth & Joel Fortner, and Holly & Gordon Boutwell all cheering me on. That is when a blast of adrenalin ran through my body. For a few brief moments, the pain in my body backed off enough for me to get into a good stride. As I turned the corner the street was lined with people cheering and my name was coming over the loud-speaker!
Trying to describe the feeling as I crossed the finish line is a difficult thing to do. The victory of accomplishment was outstanding, but it was overpowered by the combat between mind and body! As sweet as it was to run the longest distance in my life, the greater sweetness was being able to push myself through something that everything in my body told me I couldn’t. Now that was amazing! It made me believe I can do the same with anything in my life.