The Next Bad Ass Thing
I ran the greatest 26.2 miles on this planet seven days ago. This finish line that started out as a 30-before-30 goal ended up becoming a 2-year journey that unknowingly would change my life.
The day after the marathon, a friend asked me how I was feeling; my response: “pretty sad, actually.” She said, I get it; you just accomplished a really bad-ass thing and now you are thinking, well, what next? My friend directed me to this article about the astronauts who were depressed after traveling to the moon. Wow, yeah, what do you do after that?
For me, it was those “what’s next” feelings on top of all of the build up to get to 4.21.14; running, the marathon, everything about it, had become my life, and now I don’t have that anymore.
So, this past week was tough for me for all those reasons. I had a lot to process emotionally on top of ridiculously sore quads.
The conclusion: There is a lifetime of what’s next. What’s the next bad-ass thing to do. This training season, the last 2-years will forever be inside me and NO ONE, NOT A SOUL, could ever know what that feels like inside me and, more importantly, take those feelings away from me. I know that those feelings will never be shaken. And I love that; this jam is something I can live with.
And not only that, but, I learned that I am crazy loved by some many people. Crazy loved. I’ve had moments with each of my special friends and family members leading up to the marathon that I will never forget. And this year, post-race, I had messages from friends and family on every form of communication and every mode of social media. But this time, it was messages of joy and accomplishment: “You did it!” But the truth is: “WE DID IT!” Everyone played a roll leading up to Marathon Monday and I will never forget you.
And now, the city, my city — Boston — can get out of Groundhog Day, never forgetting, always remembering, and now making a new memory at 26.2. Boston 2014, NPR8 for inspiring me to open my heart, friends, family — thank you, thank you for changing my life.
Here are a few highlights leading up to the finish.
Mom and Papa Bear accompanied me to get the qualifying bib number.
Special friend and his Puggle who met me 3x along the course to provide water, baked sweet potato (my request), and a wet towel thingy that managed to stay wet the whole course.
Post-race foot soak surrounded by an apartment full of friends and family.
— Dawn Castillo Harper