I heard an inspirational story from a friend the other day about a woman who decided to run a marathon. It was the woman’s first marathon, and she hadn’t run great distances in the past. She started training months ahead of time. When the date neared for her marathon, she was ready. She knew she wouldn’t win, and she knew she wouldn’t be the fastest runner, but she simply wanted to finish. Somewhere around mile No. 24 (out of 26.2), a police officer drove up behind her and said she had to stop running. The race was over; she was out of time. But the woman politely (or maybe not so politely) told the officer she wasn’t stopping. She had two miles to go and by george, she was going to finish the race. And that’s exactly what she did. There was no great fanfare, no red ribbon to run through, no medal platform. But she finished her marathon.
In the past few weeks, I’ve freaked out multiple times about my century in Death Valley, Calif. What if I don’t finish? What if I run out of time? What if I finish last?
As it turns out, I can live with all of those options except not finishing. If they close the course, I’ll keep riding. If I’m the last rider to finish, I’m not going to care. If I run out of time, I’ll just have to be late for dinner.
I was reminded last week of how I’m not a professional cyclist. I’m not a professional athlete in any sport, nor am I anywhere close to being one. And I am perfectly fine with that. I’m not doing this for the accolades or for the glory. I’m not doing it to win a medal. I’m not doing it to look good (’cause if that were the case, I would’ve chosen something other than a sport where padded spandex is required). I’m doing this to show I can do it with diabetes. I’m doing it to show others that diabetes doesn’t have to limit our possibilities. I’m doing this because I have parents who taught me to dream big. I’m doing this to raise money for type 1 diabetes research so there will be a cure in my lifetime.
I don’t care if I look stupid in my Spandex. I don’t care if I sweat out my body weight. I don’t care if I finish last. I don’t care if my muscles hurt or my body aches. I only care if I finish and if I give it my very best effort.
I am prepared. I’ve trained. I’ve picked myself up after falls and kept riding. I’ve ridden in heat, in rain and even in my living room on a trainer. I have figured out my basal rates though it took me months to do so. I’ve found foods that help keep my blood sugar elevated and figured out how to eat applesauce without stopping my trek. (Squeezable packs for the win!) I have mastered steering while pricking my finger and have learned two down arrows require lots of Gatorade. I am ready.
“The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride.” -Ecclesiastes 7:8