I’m somewhere between mile 18 and 19 and I can’t take the pain anymore. There is a blister on my toe. I know it! Why did I wrap my toe? Mom said it would end up hurting and being uncomfortable but I didn’t listen and now the bandaid is rubbing and hurting more and more with each step. So, I stop to release my toe and replace my socks with clean ones I brought with me.
As I pulled my sock off I saw them! So many blisters! All over my foot and I immediately regretted this choice. Why did I stop? This is a horrible decision! But, there was no turning back from it so, I took off the bandaid and changed my socks (the other foot was just as bad). Each new step in my new socks felt worse than the old and then it happened! A piercing pain from toe; the blister popped. Reassuring myself the pain would subside I was relieved I had on clean socks.
Then the doubt set in… I began to question why was I doing this and alone? My running club is doing two of these things (marathons that is) locally and I could have done it with them! Why did I do this one? ALONE?!
Ahh… mile 20.. Only mile 20! I reached for my phone and shot my mom a text to tell her where I was and how much my feet hurt and that I was run/walking the rest of the way. What I saw though was Facebook alerts and lots of them. All with words of encouragement. It was in that moment that I reminded myself I wasn’t alone. Hello? I’m texting my mom who was at the finish line!
I thought back on what my running club did the day before. How one by one they changed their profile pictures of me with them. My sister who made multiple memes to keep me laughing. My family and friends near and far waiting anxiously for updates. That is NOT alone. Sure, I was actually on the race course alone but not in spirit. The miles drag on and you have to dig deep and that is what I did and I did it knowing my support system was there. They were cheering me on to the finish line from hundreds and thousands of miles away.
As I came to the finish I saw my boys and my mom with big smiles and I couldn’t help but smile, too. No, definitely not alone. They ran to me with big hugs that almost knocked me over on my weak legs and I was over come with joy and peace.
You see, this military life often leaves us feeling alone like the many miles of a marathon but we aren’t. If in those times of self doubt we look closely we will see it and be comforted by it like my Facebook notifications and my ability to text my waiting mother.
With words of encouragement and support we all can get to whatever finish line the military tells us to cross.