I never in my wildest dreams thought I would be writing this post. I am a NYC marathon finisher! Words can’t describe what an honor it is to be a part of this hard working alum base. I deserve to be here. I owned every step of those 26.2 miles. My training wasn’t perfect. I got sick 2x, I planned an Asian trip 6 weeks before the race, I wasn’t sure I would make it. I was sure that I did everything I could to be as ready as possible. My batteries were good. I ate properly. I slept. I gave up alcohol. I became my best self. Yet, the nerves were high the week before. I had phantom feet pain. The self doubt was getting the best of me! The night before I left for NYC, I made my shirt. It gave me a sense of peace. I put it on my tshirt – I am a dystonia runner. I owned it. I became proud of my disability…
Then came the expo!
“It will move you”…This just stuck with me, I had no idea why at that moment but now today writing this I know why. My life changed that day. Something has been missing from life recently and I couldn’t put my finger on it – on November 4, 2018. I found what had been missing – my purpose, my why…
I went to bed on Saturday night and it was the first night in 3 weeks that I slept well. I slept like I knew I had done everything I could to be ready for this race!
Then comes the morning – ferry at 8:15; 1 hour line up for the bus and I getting to my corral at 10:55 for an 11 am start…and boy was it glorious. Promptly at 11, the cannons went off and Sinatra started playing – Start Spreading the news…I am leaving today….I want to be a part of it – NEW YORK, NEW YORK!!!
and I was off….the weather was glorious – 50 degrees, not a cloud in the sky, sunny and little humidity. My smile was there, my heart was in NYC and my legs were going to do this….I had written a game plan and a nutrition plan. I never veered. I had so much love on the course…and NYC I fell in love with you all over again!
My friends came out – Mile 11, Mile 19, Mile 22 and Mile 23. Those hugs got me through all the miles. I never once thought I wouldn’t finish, even when I cramped up on the queensboro bridge with the sharpest pains in my inner thighs. I knew I was stronger than these temporary pains. Every hug energized me, every smile reminded me of every surgery and every battery malfunction I have ever had….then came the moment that I will never forget..
Probably one of the most surreal moments of my life – I ran by the same door I came out of 12 years ago – April 4, 2006 right after my brain surgery after I left the ICU…I saw myself being wheeled out on the chilly morning and here I was jogging every so slowly in front of the same door….I stopped. I cried, I lost my breath. I realized what I felt was lost in my life – my purpose. I had forgot what a life I had, what a miracle God had gifted me and I felt like I received that miracle again! The last 3 miles were hard, I was tired, my left foot hurt, I wanted to be done…so I did what so many people told me to do – keep moving forward, don’t stop just one foot in front of the other….then it happened…
I finished. My greatest hero called me not even after I picked up my foot off the finish pad – I said Mom – I did it!!! As I sit here typing I realize all over again – I did it!! Through out the last week, so many people have reached out and reminded me how much my smile, my grit and my perseverance is inspiring. I want to continue inspiring, teaching others being disabled isn’t a life sentence, but an opportunity to show others that not even Dystonia will keep me down from my reaching my dreams!
And as always a special thank you to my biggest cheerleader – my sister, who is always on top of making sure everyone is kept in the loop of all my running updates!
I am not sure what is next … but I tell you what I do know – I am a 2018 NYC marathon finisher!