“You will begin to touch heaven, Jonathan, in the moment that you touch perfect speed. And that isn’t flying a thousand miles an hour, or a million, or flying at the speed of light. Because any number is a limit, and perfection doesn’t have limits. Perfect speed, my son, is being there.”
– Richard Bach (Jonathan Livingston Seagull)
I never stuck with a New Year’s resolution. Never. And I don’t think any of my resolutions have ever been authentic. At least not until 2011.
2011 was different. Completely different. That ball dropped and I knew the year ahead of me would take on a whole new meaning. I made several promises to myself and I planned on keeping each and every one of them. I deserved it.
On January 29, 2012, I fulfilled my biggest promise and it was amazing to say the very least. I crossed the finish line of the ING Miami marathon a little after noon. Outside, I smiled while mentally I crossed an item off of my bucket list. I do not have the right words to describe the feelings that moved with me across that finish line, but they left me in awe.
Miles 1-5 greeted me with a cloudy and imperfect, but incredible sunset. Mile 10.5 surrounded me with a sea of people: runners, spectators and costumed characters. Mile 20 beat the crap out of me. It was the most difficult for me by far. Mile 24 gave me a boost and I ran my best splits for the next two miles. Mile 26 was living. Speed did not matter. Neither did anything else in the world at the time. Not even cancer. Nothing else mattered. What mattered was that I was here. In this moment. Running. And finishing. Being here was perfect.
I never had the confidence to even try to complete a full marathon until a year ago. I’m glad that changed. At some points, it hurt like hell and all I wanted to do was stop. But I kept going. I remember the humidity settling onto my skin at mile 2 and how sticky it was. And I remember the sudden sense of good energy that seeped into my soul toward the end of the race as I realized that I was finishing. It was one of those rare life moments when good, hard work meets accomplishment and inspiration. Not only was it indescribable, it was unforgettable.