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2. Push Past Pain

When you want something bad enough, pain doesn’t paralyze you. It may slow you down, it may tempt you to quit, it may hurt so bad that doubt and fear cloud your days, but if you push past your pain you WILL come out better and stronger. I know this sounds like lyrics to a new R&B song, but I promise you this is the truth.

The pain is part of the process and all the glory resides in the process. When you can look back and say, “Yeah, this and this happened…but I am still here,” then you have “evidence” that will ultimately double as “possibility.” This fuels you. Unexpectedly losing my mother one month into training rocked my entire existence. The grief felt like a bad dream and to wake up from it was my only desire. Nothing else mattered. Without my #1 cheerleader by my side I felt paralyzed. Running the marathon became irrelevant and so did life.

But thank God for grace and mercy. Moments of peace became seconds, minutes, hours, and eventually full on days. I found a strength I never knew I had and I began to hear her say the one thing she always said at the end of our conversations, emails and texts, “Run Toward Your Destiny.” I did on November 3rd, and I will continue to do so from this point on. It is hard, but to push past pain is not only necessary, it is worth it.

3. Pass On Being Passive

This time last year I was officially accepted as one of the 147,000 runners selected to run the 2013 ING New York City Marathon. I was also told that what I thought was a minor injury was in fact worse than expected. Running a mile literally brought tears to my eyes. The physical pain of this injury quickly became excruciating. Lower back pain affects so many other muscles in your body, and the imbalances that come as a result of it caused agonizing mental pain as well. I felt so weak–in both body and mind.

I was disappointed in my body for not being strong enough and in myself for letting this injury get so out of hand. But I refused to believe that popping pain killers and seeing a physical therapist/chiropractor/massage therapist almost every week was the story of my athletic life. I did everything I was told to do by these professionals, yet listened to my body. I took the time off when needed and I strengthened my mind just a much as my muscles. And one year later, I am grateful to say I ran two half marathons (beat a personal record in one of them) and a marathon. Things don’t just happen to us. It’s how we handle things when they do happen that matters.

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