When we left Danny and his family after dinner on Friday night he wished Michael and I good luck and said, "I'll see you at the race". We didn't even think about the comment until later that evening. Michael laughingly said "what the heck was Danny thinking telling us he'd see us at the race? There's 20,000 runners PLUS all their supporters! Like we're really going to see Danny at the starting line". We hadn't been in the parking lot 30 minutes when he strolls over to us, says good morning and asks if we're all ready to start!!! Unbelievable!!! He found us in a crowd of tens of thousands! And I'm so glad he did. The visit helped relaxed me and offered more laughs and well wishes. You may be interested to know that Danny finished his race in less than 2 hours; approximately 1:54! Amazing!!! Go Danny! The bad guys in Chapel Hill don't stand a chance at running away from Office Lloyd!!!
A little flushed and over-heated but here we are at the finish line!! And vertical!!! I'm happy to say that Michael and I finished the race in good condition without needing any medical attention. We were very careful to train for this, hydrate ourselves heavily the days before and the day of and pace ourselves according to our abilities. I love setting and meeting these physical goals and I will push myself but not to the point of bodily harm/injury. I want to stay healthy for as long as possible!! I do plan, however, to train harder and better over the next 6 months to increase my speed/pace - but VERY carefully.
And when it's all said and done, this is what it's all about. That medal! That gift for your achievement. That payoff for all your hard work and that of your family and friends. And this is just a silly little trinket of sorts - I can't begin to imagine what it must be like for those Olympic athletes who win the gold!!
But I'm not going to sell Michael and I short - this is our gold medal of sorts and we earned it the hard way!!
As I wrap up this milestone in my life, I am sitting here thinking I wish I could've video taped the entire event from beginning to end. You know, EVERY person, EVERY home has a story. People will push themselves for a cause. People will share their stories with complete strangers. I believe God is instrumental in that because sometimes we're supposed to hear a person's story in order to receive a wake-up call ourselves. I saw runners this weekend running "in memory" of a loved one, someone they lost to breast cancer or heart disease or lung cancer or to a drunk driver. I saw runners pushing strollers with handicapped adolescent children in them; they were running because that child couldn't and they wanted us to recognize whatever ailment that child had. I saw runners in specially made wheelchair/bicycles. I saw a man giving everything he had to make that first monster hill in his wheel-bike...and a group of us runners hanging back yelling and clapping and encouraging him to pump harder - so desperately wanting to get behind him and push but knowing we couldn't - and that really he wouldn't want us to. We would have to simply will him up that hill. For a brief moment, I cried for that man. I cried because I could run and he couldn't. I cried for him because at that moment it was harder for him than me and I could do nothing to help him. And then I realized...he's trained for this event in HIS way just like I did in my way. He obviously laid out a plan and a program and stuck to it, much like I assume his day-to-day life must be like. I never saw that man again and he will never know the impact he had on me that morning or that he will have on me throughout the remainder of my life.
I don't think I have a "story", at least not one like that man. But you know, I so desperately am trying to live a Christ-like/pleasing life because I don't know who's watching me or listening to me or reading my life's story, no matter how bland it might be. But I have to be certain that my life story is a good, clean read because maybe, just maybe, in some small, teeny way I just might be an inspiration myself to someone...