Let me be up front about this...I don't really know if I want to be writing this post. It's been swimming around in my head for ages and I know it's a topic that could create hope or change or empowerment for some people, so I should post it.
But it's also really private. Not to those who have known me a long time, not really; but it's not something I talk about much even with them. And while I do share a lot of my life here on the blog, there are some parts that I try not to delve into.
Still, I feel like sometimes being brave means putting things out there, and I've been wanting to put this out there for months. So here it is.
This is my favorite running photo.
It was taken after the Space Coast Marathon as I sat, recovering and crying a little, covered in glory and friends and flowers, sporting my brand new medal. Victorious.
The words on my arms are words from my sister, who wrote me a heart-wrenching good luck card, and Matt, whose usual blunt encouragement leaves no room for disagreement.
And those words, scrawled on my arms before I set off to do something totally life-affirming, something that epitomizes strength and determination, are written over dozens of self-inflicted scars.
You can barely tell in the photo. Most people don't really notice them in person, or if they notice, they have the tact not to ask about them.
But I see them. When I look at this photo, my eyes zero in on this strange meeting of my greatest time of weakness and my greatest moment of strength.
When I look at this photo, I see what my life was and what it has become. I am so grateful; I am humbled; I am in awe. I created those scars during a time in my life when I never imagined I could ever have the strength to turn my pain into something worthwhile. And here they are, obscured by words that prove the simple truth that, yes, I was able to do just that.
I don't know where my running will continue to take me, but I do know that it has already impacted my life in so many ways, and this picture is just one example of how completely I have changed...in part thanks to this sport and all it has given me. This March was my 10th anniversary of being..."clean", I guess you'd say. Some days are harder than others, and on those days, I run.
I know running has changed many of my runner-friends' lives for the better. Do you have a story to share?