Marathon race

It was January 2012 when I completed my first half marathon. Initially, I thought of partnering with one of my friends to train, but our schedules were different. After some research, I found a half marathon training schedule for beginners. I started walking and slow jogging in my neighborhood. I missed having someone to train with because we would be able to encourage each other.

Nevertheless, I moved ahead with my training plan. The day before the race, friends and family were praying for me. I wanted to finish without injury and live to talk about it. It was a cold 44 degrees on race day. I was ready and excited. It was about mile 7 that I started having an “out of body experience.” I wanted to stop, but now and then, someone would come alongside me and encourage me not to stop. There were volunteers along the race route passing out water, cheering, and encouraging us to keep going. This encouragement caused my body to shift into a gear I did not know I had. I started thinking about other challenges in my life that I had overcome and the people who had come alongside me to encourage and support me. I started repeating out loud, “you didn’t come this far, to only come this far.” When I passed the 10-mile mark, I felt another urge to quit. Trying to stay focused, I didn’t notice the woman who came up next to me. I discovered she was a Christian, and we both were nurses. We began trying to sing while telling each other, “we got this.” The moment we could see the 13-mile sign ahead, our pace increased until we crossed the finish line.

You Didn't Come This Far...

I realized that completing the race was not just about my physical endurance but a reminder that we all need someone to come alongside us to encourage and support us. Is there someone in your circle of influence who is longing to hear these words,”you didn’t come this far, to only come this far?”