A week after the race I was asked what was the achievement I was most pleased with, the finish or helping Heidi finish?
If I have to pick just one achievement it would be that when the layers were stripped away, one by one, what I found deep inside was a person worth being.
One learns who they really are when the mask is taken off through unimaginable stress. The summer of mental training paid off, but more than just for the race, but for life.
The summer was spent with "no complaining days", push-ups for cuss words, push-ups for marinating in problems and the past instead of leaving it be, meditation and breathing exercises to recognize that my thoughts aren't me, to be able to step back and see them for what they are, just thoughts.
So when the chips were down, when my shields were lowered I didn't complain.... er..... much, I didn't blame others for my mishaps, didn't say the worst of the cuss words, I smiled more, helped others, even at my worst. What we are at our worst is who we are, I can live with who I am.
Let me be clear: This was self-imposed misery. I'm not comparing this to the horribles that life can throw at us. This was a race. This was a hard, hard thing, but it isn't one of those really awful things that can happen to anyone.
I use these same techniques to slow down my response and my anger to better deal with situations.
Example: Days after the race my emotions were strained, maybe from not running. I was anxious and acting so. Chris was about the house and I was annoyed. He asked if it was him. I said no.
The simple fact was, on any other day the things he was doing about the house would not have annoyed me, so those things, nor him were annoying, it was about my emotions, my anxiety, mine to own. I was able to explain this, own this, go outside and de-stress and not be punitive towards my dear husband for something he definitely didn't do.
Another unknown: I was already not going to make 30 hours when I stopped and gave aid. Would I have if the one needing aid was before a cut off? and I was close? How would I have taken it if I would have missed a cut off or had to drop for other reasons? I don't know how I would have behaved in these situations. I can hope I would have behaved in a way that would make my husband, and children proud to call me wife and mother.
The finest moment happened yesterday. I was talking to Kim on the phone. She told me she had never seen me at such peace and so happy.
The story is mine, the ending is mine to write! I am the author of what good I write into my life.