NOTE: While most of these postings are about cutsey things my kids do, the point is to give them something to grab onto for later. It is with that idea that my wife makes the starting lineup for the week.
For the last few summers my wife and I have endeavored to persevere in one of the dumbest activities possible in the great state of Colorado; the Wild West Relay. For those outside of northern Colorado or with any sense of self preservation, the Wild West Relay is a twelve man relay race that takes place in the 200 mile gap between Fort Collins and Steamboat, Colorado. Twelve people, two vans, 30 or so hours, zero sleep, and not a brain amongst us. My wife and I have done it a few times and for some reason it is something we look forward to.
This year, however, was a little different for both of us. For myself, I had trained, and ran, my first marathon just a few months prior and had since been concentrating my training on elevation running. I was feeling great and ready for my best year in the relay. Best laid plans of mice and men. A couple of weeks before the relay I was diagnosed with a hernia that required surgery and it was advised that I not run this sort of race with a blown out o-ring. My wife on the other hand was having a fantastic summer...work wise. She was working extra hours and training was falling by the way side. It left her concerned for her ability to run the legs she had and my not being there only made matters worse.
As race day approached, I sensed the tension she was feeling. I don't know that having a husband who thought the cure for his personal frustrations was embedding him-sized ass dents in the couch was helping matters. As she prepared for her trip I tried to be supportive. Of note, I know when she is nervous about a run because what she is wearing during the run becomes a subject of conversation. That conversation was frequent.
Race day came and I uttered a "good-bye" as she was leaving the house at 4:00 in the morning and tried to call her a little while later to offer some words of encouragement that had to be preached to her voicemail. As it turns out, cell phone reception in the canyon she was running in was spotty at best. I really wouldn't hear from Adrienne for 30 hours.
It so happens that my next door neighbor and his wife were signed up for the team too but one of the two, we'll call him "broke toe Joe" for the purposes of this story, couldn't run either. So Broke Toe and I decided to drive up the next day and see the team cross the finish line.
The wife I found on the other side was not the same woman who left our abode the previous morning. She was radiant, stinky, but radiant. She was grinning wildly and only partially because of sleep deprivation. She hadn't run her fastest, or her best, but she had run her hardest. She had pushed herself beyond what she thought she could do. She gave a one finger salute to that voice in the back of her head telling her that she should slow down and walk a little. She was brimming with a confidence that I hadn't seen in a long while. I couldn't have been happier. Good job lady (and to the rest of Tutus and Teabags as well).
So girls, the takeaway is this; there will always be someone faster than you. There will always be someone with more resources and more time to prepare. But there is no substitution for bearing down, gritting your teeth and telling doubt to kick rocks. You do those things, the rest will take care of itself.