At the beginning of 2015, my church Pastor stated that it was going to be the Best Year of Our Lives. He couldn’t have been more right. This has been such an amazing year for me mostly because I was able to achieve something I previously only dreamed of.
When I learned on March 3rd that I was one of the 14,326 lottery applicants to be accepted into the 2015 NYC Marathon, I was thrilled. Okay, that’s actually putting it lightly, as I was seriously elated and the most excited I have ever been to run a race. My dream of getting into the race had come true. Tears of joy overcame me and I experienced so many emotions that day. It would become one of the best days of my life.
Those next months of training now feel like they went by a bit too fast. I felt like I was training for the race of my life. New York was my number one, it felt like my Boston. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to have the opportunity to run the Boston Marathon one day, but NYC was my dream. From the moment I realized that I was a runner, my dream became to run the NYC Marathon. This dream became, or felt more real after running my first marathon in early 2013. From that day forward, I knew that New York was my ultimate 26.2.
When I arrived in New York City this past October, just three days before the big race day, it all felt surreal. I’m sure I have said this before in previous blog posts, but that feeling that was inside of me from that minute on still sticks with me to this day. Walking into the Javits Convention Center and getting my race bib…I can picture that moment like it was yesterday. The smile on my face and nerves in my stomach, it was like nothing else I have ever experienced before.
Race day now flashes before me in a whirlwind of pieces of time. I close my eyes and can see so much of that day. It proved to be one of the toughest, hardest races of my life, but I loved it. All the pain, soreness, and headache of the experience was worth it as I ran across that finish line. Nothing beats that feeling that you get when you finish a race, especially your dream marathon. And yes, I now yearn to go back and do it all over again. God willing, that is.
So, with such an amazing 2015, I find myself a bit lost and sad that the year is coming to an end. That’s silly, I know, but a part of me just wants to grab a hold of my dream that became reality this year and not let go. My brain steps in when I think that way and reminds me that 2016 is coming and more great things are on the horizon. It’s just proving to be a year that I’m bittersweet about letting go of. This time last year, all I could think about was my dream of running the streets of New York City, and now that I’ve done that, it’s a whole different world.
There’s that quote I come across all the time, “the hardest part of moving forward is not looking back.” That rings so true for me right now. It’s all about trusting that so much more greatness and another dream is right in front of me. There is nothing wrong with keeping the memories of my NYC Marathon dream alive within me, but if I don’t keep moving, I’ll never know how many other amazing things are in store for my life.