Welcome to 31 Days of Hope!
Day 1 – A Writing Marathon (see below for this post)
Day 2 – Blogworthy?
Day 3 – What’s In A Name?
Day 4 – Life on the Tumble Track
Day 5 – Writing that Gives Me Hope
Day 6 – Wanting Credit
Day 8 – Hitting the Jackpot
Day 9 – Portrait of a Life Well Lived
Day 10 – Need a Break?
Day 11 – 11 Gifts for 11 Days
Day 12- For Your Sunday
Day 13 – 308 Days to Live
Day 14 – A Friend I Want You to Meet
Day 15 – When Couches Become Pythons
Day 16- When Someone Helps You See
Day 18 – A Prayer for Your Saturday
Day 19 – Learning to Listen
Day 20 – Running the Race
Day 21 – When You Can’t Run the Race
Day 23 – Hope in the Mess
Day 24 – Earrings for the Heart
Day 25 – “People Are Forever.”
Day 26 – Writing about Writing
Day 27 – The Power of a Teacher
Day 28 – Find a Penny
Day 29 –Fainting Goats
Day 30 – The Best Kind of Motivation
Day 31 –“No Shoulds”
Twenty years ago this month, I ran my first marathon.
I trained for most of it by myself, not really knowing what I was doing.
I am not sure I trained enough before the race and I have distinct memories of one ten mile training run that made me want to quit running forever and avoid the race entirely.
On the morning of the race, a monsoon-like storm decided it wanted to be part of the race as well.
It wasn’t one of those misty, refreshing rains that makes a run more pleasant, but a deluge that made it difficult to see in front of you.
The severity of the storm caused horrendous traffic which made it almost impossible to get to the parking area and then the starting line.
I was literally sprinting to the start after it had already started, not really even stretching or warming up before the race.
And the person I was running with got a little spooked by our slow start and took off after a mile, leaving me to run 25.2 miles by myself.
I was sick of myself after about four miles.
I reached a low point around mile 19 as I stood on some bridge, eating a banana, wondering if my legs would ever be the same again. I think at this point, people could have crawled past me and still finished before me.
But I kept running, and this lovely picture shows me just before the finish line, soggy and sore, delighted that I had actually finished this dreadful race. I remember sobbing when I saw my husband waiting for me at the end, unable to really describe why I was crying, just overwhelmed and suddenly grateful for the whole experience.
Before I could run the marathon, I had to sign up for the race. When I submitted my entry (which I believe I filled out with a pen and mailed. There was no online sign up twenty years ago!) I felt terrified. Did I really think I could run 26.2 miles when the most I had ever run was maybe six miles?
I wasn’t sure, but I knew I wanted to try.
So here I am in October, signing up for a different race, that to be honest, scares me more than running.
I signed up this week for 31 days. A Writing Challenge Every October, Every day
I am already afraid that I am not up to the task, and fear that the result might be something more like “5 Days. I couldn’t do it, but thanks for trying.”
I hate the idea of failing, but I think I hate the idea of not trying even more.
We will see what happens, but I would love for you to join me this month as I take the challenge. Come visit as often or as little as you like. I had to pick a topic to write about, so I chose 31 days of Hope. I am praying that I will be able to write about moments of hope, even in the mundane, even on the days that feel like that ten mile training run where I was ready to give up, throw away my running shoes and never run again.
Twenty years later, I am still running. Hopefully in 31 days I will still be writing.