The cheerful announcer began his countdown... 5... 4... 3... 2... 1...
A gunshot echoed through the crisp autumn air, and we were off!
I started running, reminding myself to set an easy pace that wouldn't cause my cold symptoms to flare up too much. The absence of the usual wagging tail beside me was a clear indication that this was indeed race day.
Slowly and steadily, I made my way through the neighbourhood streets. Every now and then, the Kleenex in my pocket eased my sniffles.
I made it over the overpass and through the tunnel under the train tracks. Then, about halfway through, the course turned towards a steep hill. All I could think was, "keep moving forward," and made it to the top without too much difficulty, much to my surprise.
The little flags marked the way and volunteers passed out cups of water as the course looped back under the train tunnel.
As I began to climb the overpass, a mighty gust of frigid wind hit hard, as if it were trying to prevent my ascent. Again, I just kept moving forward and made it through, the only casualty, a few strands of hair pulled loose from my french braid, put there by the loving hands of my Mom.
Although beginning to feel tired, thoughts of my family waiting at the end kept me going. In my mind, I pictured that tail wagging beside me and imagined the steady pace of four paws, urging me onward.
Before I knew it, I could hear the cheers of the onlookers. Their enthusiastic shouts of encouragement made me smile. I sped up as I rounded the final corner, letting that last little bit of extra energy carry me over the finish line.
As the volunteers congratulated me and handed me a bottle of water and my finishing prize - a pair of running gloves, I thought...
...I did it! I just ran my first 5k race!
And although there's nothing quite like the feeling of crossing that finish line...
"The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start."
Thanks for stopping by.
This post is part of my blog series, "31 Days of Words to Live By". For the month of October, I will be sharing my favourite quotes and sayings while incorporating them into daily life and art projects.
This series was inspired by The Inspired Room, where you'll find other "31 Days" series among many other wonderful things!
Day 1: The Courage to Start