The Brooklyn Half Marathon has concluded, but something is still racing inside of me. The support and encouragement that I've received is much appreciated. THANK YOU ALL!
For those of you that don't know, running is therapeutic for me. I get the chance to zone in on myself, and rediscover who I am. I tend to shed a tear during my long runs. Not because I'm sad, but rather because while i'm running, I envision myself in a way that I so often dream of. With every step, there is a visual being created. A masterpiece that only I recognize. A best-selling narrative is being written every time these size 14's strike the ground. So with every step, as I see it, I'm that much closer to arriving at the version of myself that I so frequently visit(in my dreams).
Back to the race
10 comfortable miles behind me. A mere 5k left in the Brooklyn Half Marathon, I planned to pound the pavement and die crossing the finish line. But that never happened, at least not how I planned it.
Flashback: I traveled to Boston, to cheer on fellow Black Roses NYC members who were running in the Prestigious Boston Marathon. Cheer sections serve as loud, boisterous, high energy sections along the race route. These sections are full of positive vibes for runners, and help us get through, what can be a tough race. I remember seeing fellow Black Roses NYC member, Knox, run pass our cheer section. We (myself included) were so loud! We had blow horns, confetti, and of course le' trap musiqe. By all accounts, it was LIT! But I noticed something about Knox, that I have never witnessed before. You see most runners acknowledge their group's cheer section. Usually by smiling or waving. A high five or a smile, some have even went full on Lebron James mode, throwing two handfuls of powder into the air. But Knox is NOT your typical runner...
Hands together to suggest that he was praying, in a very Zen like manner, Knox glided by. At one point he motioned to us to quiet down. Not a soul listened, NOT ONE! But ever since that day, I wondered why? Why, during the world's most prestigious marathon, are you asking your cheer section NOT to, you know, cheer?
Back on Ocean Parkway
Mind at at ease, and my body ready to kick it into high gear. I see a man passout about 50 feet in front of me. I see a fellow runner jump down, and begin to attempt to reccesitate him. The guy on the ground appeared to be young, and in shape. What happened to him? Was he dying? I honestly don't know, I kept running.
Or at least I tried to.
You see, I spent months preparing for the Brooklyn Half Marathon. I was right on pace to kick, and finish with a time that I would respect. So when some dude nearly dies in front of me, as concerned as I was for his wellbeing, I had a job to do. I wanted to proceed as though I didn't witness, in that moment, a nearly fatal experience. I wanted to block it all out, but I couldn't. The peace and quiet that Knox seemed to be asking for. The ability to focus. The calming of the chaos of inside ones racing mind would have come in handy. But I wasn't able to do it. I spent the next 2 miles running in fear. Not fear for my life, but afraid that someone had died, and I did nothing stop to help. Fear of letting myself down. Fear of not living up to the standard that I set for myself.
I was off my game, and at that very moment I knew I was no longer in my zone. Regardless of the fact that I finished with a personal record, I DID NOT RUN MY BEST RACE, AND I COULD HAVE. Yes, the situation I witnessed wasn't ideal, but isn't that why I run? Is that not why we live, why we compete? I run because it makes me a better person. Running strengthens my mind, gives me clarity, and brings me a sublime sense of peace. So regardless of whether or not someone passed out, or broke their leg. I would've liked to have been strong enough, mentally, to overcome that obstacle and persevere.
I believe in myself and my ability to prepare, but that Saturday Morning on Ocean Parkway, I was not at my best. Something happened, as it always does, but I was not up for the unforeseen challenge.
You see, often times in life we just want to be prepared for the rainy days. But it's easier to deal with life's expected problems, especially when one see's them coming. But how about those unforeseen circumstances? How will you deal with those? My hope is that your days are spent like mine, strenthening your mind, body, and soul. So that when these unforeseen circumstances come up, you fight on. You power thru, and persevere. Instead of feeling like you have something left to prove.