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Life is certainly a marathon, not a sprint. I set out four years ago to run the ING New York City Marathon for one reason–to say,”I lived in NYC, did one of the hardest marathons in the world and joined a league of extreme athletes-marathoners!”

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But in those four years that I had to wait in order to fulfill this dream, patience and life stepped in and changed some things. Once it ultimately came time to cross that infamous finish line, my purpose was to experience something that is difficult, yet possible, wonderful, yet painful and to have a memory of what it feels like to really have to fight for something your believe in. I know life is full of joy and pain, however despite it all I believe in my destiny. I will fight for it at any cost, and what happened for 26.2 miles on November 3, 2013 revealed more than I could ever imagine. Here is what running a marathon taught me about life.

1. If You Know That You Know…Then Go

All of us have that thing that we “know that we know” is for us. Some call it your life’s calling, your purpose, your passion; I call it my destiny. I was raised by an angel that came to earth as both my mother and my best friend, and from a very young age she encouraged me, reminded me and required me to discover and fight for my destiny.

My talents and faith were nurtured in ways that some people never experience in a lifetime. I recognized this as “grace and mercy,” and at a very young age, discovered my destiny. It was and is very real to me. But truth be told, it is hard, it is amazing, but most importantly it is required. So at any cost, since “I know. I must go.” Or as my mother would say, I must “run toward my destiny.”

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