My name is Sarah and I want to share my story of how movement changed my life.
Last year, while standing among the crowds, cheering on the participants of the Twin Cities Marathon, I was deeply inspired. Out of the sea of runners, one particular participant caught my attention. A blind person, navigating the stretches of the marathon route with sheer determination. Witnessing their unparalleled courage and perseverance made me reflect on my own potential. It ignited a thought: if they can conquer this, why can't I?
From that moment, a personal challenge was born. My heart was set on one goal: to run the Twin Cities Marathon the following year.
Training for a marathon isn’t just about the physical challenge; it's an emotional and mental journey. The image of that blind runner remained etched in my mind, reminding me during difficult times that the human spirit is unyielding and can push through any barrier. As expected, the journey wasn't always smooth. I dealt with several minor injuries (luckily I had a great PT that I saw weekly) and was able to get most of my training in. There were many days when I doubted my ability to achieve that 26.2-mile mark. But I kept pushing on, wanting to prove to myself that I could do it. It also helped that I built amazing friendships with other more experienced runners along the way, they helped me tremendously!
The Big Day
The day of the Twin Cities Marathon finally arrived. As I stood at the starting line, I remembered the reason I was there. I recalled the chills I felt watching the blind runner the year before, and suddenly, my nervousness turned into sheer determination. The race had its challenging moments (Summit Hill), but every time I felt like giving up, I reminded myself of the resilience and tenacity I was proving to myself, and how I could take that into every other area in my life. The hard work and dedication became my guiding light, pushing me forward mile after mile.
Crossing the Finish Line
Crossing the finish line was an indescribable feeling. A mix of relief, pride, and overwhelming joy. My husband, kids, and my mom were all waiting for me at the finish line and I was so grateful to have their support. I had proven to myself I accomplished something I truly never thought possible.
For anyone thinking of taking on a new challenge, remember this: sometimes inspiration can come from the most unexpected places. Embrace it, let it fuel you, and you might just surprise yourself with what you can achieve.
To that blind runner from the Twin Cities Marathon 2021, thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your strength inspired me to embark on a journey I'll never forget. And to anyone else looking to challenge themselves, remember to always keep your heart open for those unexpected sparks of inspiration; they might just change your life.