Normally the day after the marathon I write about how lucky and fortunate I am. Yes, I still plan on doing that, but before I get there I learned a very important lesson yesterday that I want to share. I finished the marathon in 3 hours and 52 minutes, a new personal best for NYC. Was I satisfied? No. I'm a competitive, driven and stubborn person who had a goal in mind and didn't reach it. At this point, I was ready to lock myself in a room and sulk and be pissed off for a week. Think about how the first twenty miles were the best I've ever run and then all of a sudden I hit the wall and the cramps came and my legs just locked up. Analyze my nutrition plan. Think about how I needed to take in more electrolytes and carbs earlier in the race. Think about why the same plan that had worked in the past had let me down today.
Then as the day ended, I had a conversation with one of my dear friends. She could tell that I was disappointed and asked me why I'm so hard on myself. To be quite honest, I have no idea. I always expect greatness. That's just how I am. Then she looked at me and said, "Steve, you always talk about how you run cause you can and because you enjoy it. You did something great today and don't let anything take away from the experience." She then told me that everyone is in awe and inspired by what I do and the person I am regardless of my marathon time. And that's about the time when I lost it and the emotions of the day took over. Because I realized how lucky I am to have so many great people in my life who truly care about me and not where I finish in the marathon.
So that nicely leads into my message for the day....Why I'm luckier than you. We can argue if you want, but after yesterday I doubt you'd win.
I consider myself lucky pretty much everyday. I’m lucky I can wake up in the morning and take a deep breath. I’m lucky I can go to work, run, play soccer and pretty much anything else I want to do. I’m lucky CF hasn’t taken it’s toll on me. I’m lucky because I’ve always had great doctors who’ve treated me as an individual and not just another person with CF. They’ve always put me first and not let their medical judgment interfere with my goals and dreams and what I want to accomplish in life.
However, I’m MOST lucky because of everyone that’s part of my life – my amazing support system. My family, friends, and colleagues are always nothing but supportive, compassionate, loving and caring. I’ve accomplished many things in my life. Yesterday, for the third straight year, was one of them. What makes it even better was seeing my friends and family along the course and knowing everyone else had me in their thoughts. I’ve had my ups and downs, my spells of sickness, my IVs and hospitalizations and throughout it all there have always been people by my side. It’s truly, truly amazing to know that I always have people they’re for me. I wish I could verbalize how I feel, but there are simply no words. For now, I’m just going to say thank you. Thank you for letting me part of your life. Thank you for inspiring for me. Thank you for giving me a kick in the ass when I need it. Thank you for listening to me. Thank you for being caring and loving and supportive. Thank you for standing by my side through everything. Without you, these accomplishments would mean nothing. Most importantly, thank you for being you.
And on a final note, congratulations to my mother, my friends and everyone else on Team Boomer for a successful marathon Sunday!