Finding the finish line

I wouldn’t say I’ve been a runner my entire life, but for a period of time, it was an incredibly important piece of my life. But things change, and priorities change.

Upon moving to Boston in January 2011, I quickly found myself in a new situation. Over the next few months, my priorities evolved and suddenly my personal and professional life took front seat, leading myself away from any focus on running.

I had lost the starting line, with even less hope of finding the finishing line.

Two months ago, I had a punch to the gut the night before the Boston Marathon as my partner of three years decided his life had a different path, a different finishing line.

I was lost, deflated. I couldn’t make it to the course, much less line up. I started reaching out to friends, discovering a lot of us had this in common. The stigma of a long-term relationship ending is a shameful one, indeed. It leaves lasting blisters on our feet, runner’s fatigue in our hearts. It’s another piece of the mental health puzzle we don’t talk about, but impacts a lot of us.

Over the last few weeks, I started putting my running shoes back on – getting back to who I knew I could be again.

Friday, I received an email inviting me to race, literally. Having not run in over three years, I foolishly agreed. Having not trained, I foolishly assumed I could run again.

And yesterday, I ran. At the starting line with one of my best friends next to me, I discovered something – sometimes we trip and fall. Sometimes that fall hurts but we have the capacity to stand back up and run. So, I ran 3.5 miles. And instead of falling to the ground in defeat, I found the finish line.

In that moment I cross, I realized this wasn’t the finish line, but rather the starting line for what comes next.  And with that, I’m back in the race. Time to find the next finish line to cross.

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Finding the finish line