I live right by Mile 26 of the Chicago Marathon route and although I have a love/hate relationship with it, the only thing I seem to love about it is the joy of watching the runners approach the finish line and run the last stretch of the race.
I discovered last year that living at this part of the route you get to experience something that many might take for granted - watching the first runners as they lead the pack. It is so motivating, inspirational and truly emotional. So much, that I wanted to experience that feeling again this year.
This year, as I watched the first runners round the corner of Mile 26, I couldn't help but think of how much they were inspiring me. I thought, "I could learn a few things from this moment". So from here on out I will remember this:
- Just like anything in life - Work at it if you want to get better. These are people who started out as amazing runners, these are people who have worked (and worked hard) to get where they are today. If you want to be good - keep trying until you reach a point that you're happy with.
- Never say you can't - because you can. I watched many of the wheelchair athletes as they approached the finish line and for every day I complain about something I can't do - I need to remember how much harder it is for someone else. Life is never easy, but it's not so hard enough that you should ever give up.
- Do everything with a smile. As I watched the first male and female runners approach the finish line I couldn't help but notice that despite the fact these people have ran the distance from my place to O'Hare airport - they remembered to smile. Hard work is that much more enjoyable if you do it with a smile.
- Be someone's cheerleader (even if you don't know them). Encourage others, pat them on the back, scream in celebration...just show someone that you believe in them. It's amazing how much you start to believe in yourself when you believe in others.
- Make it to the finish line. Even if it takes you longer than expected, push yourself to finish what you've started. It'll be fulfilling and worth celebrating in the end.
Even though I don't personally know the first runners that crossed the finish line, I was there to cheer them on and in return, they gave me an invaluable lesson. Here's a few pics of the first athletes as they approached the finish line.
|Congrats to all the athletes that participated in the Chicago Marathon and THANK YOU for inspiring me in so many ways.|