Last night was pretty awesome around here. As many of you know I have had the incredible opportunity this summer to coach MDA’s Team Momentum here in Chicago. The people on this team are all incredible and the cause is something I believe to be truly special. Over the past few months I have had the chance to get to know most of the members and it has been such a great experience to watch them transform into marathoners. Most of them are first time marathoners and between those running their first and the others with a marathon already under their belt it has been so fun to watch them come together as a team.
For me it has been so awesome to watch this group transform since our first long run. We met back on the first weekend of June to do a 5 mile run together. Many struggled and as a coach I did wonder just a bit how we would all make it to the marathon in one piece. Not only have they all made it, but pretty much every single one has surprised me with their strength to push through the rigors of training. To top it all off we have had a really good time together.
As I mentioned in my post yesterday we met last night to have a pasta dinner as a team and watch The Spirit of The Marathon. I did make a new crockpot Bolognese sauce and I will have to post the recipe on here soon because it turned out to be quite delicious. If you are running any kind of race this fall I highly recommend checking this movie out. I purchased it off of Amazon because our TV can connect to the internet but you can also watch it for free on hulu.
There are a few quotes throughout the movie that really touched me and I had to share:
“Sometimes the moments that challenge us most, define us.”-Deena Kastor I think that this is pretty much a metaphor for life. Working with the MDA I believe this quote can go way beyond just our running and into many people’s lives. Having the opportunity to run and work with a charity has allowed myself and the other team members to see that this is more than just about running and it is about life’s challenges. Getting to the finish of just about any race is one huge, and often painful, hurdle. There is no way you can come across the finish line without becoming a changed person. This is a physical and mental challenge.
“No matter how fast or how slow, it will change your world.”- Dick Beardsley It really doesn’t matter what your pace is. If you run a race, if you walk a race, if you train your way to the starting line it will change your life. I say this all the time and it is the honest truth, running is not easy. It never gets easy. It might get easier over time but generally speaking you just run faster or you run further and it continues to be challenging. The mental and physical stamina that this sport requires builds you into a person you might never have believed you could become.
“It’s about people competing and completing. The beauty of the sport is that it is big enough to embrace us all.”-Frank Shorter There are not many sports that can allow you to pick it up at just about any age regardless of what shape you are in. It will put you through the wringer, but you can truly start running at just about any point in your life. There is a race for just about anybody and no doubt there will be someone out there on the course cheering you on whether you are in the lead or finishing at the very end. That is a sport that I am pretty proud to be a part of!
To all of you training this fall and to all of you who endured running through the hot and steamy summer, congrats. You should all be proud of yourselves. Keep up the fantastic work!