About eight to nine years ago, I was at the finish line when my mom ran the LA Marathon. She was breathing heavy, stumbling, but incredibly triumphant. As I had barely begun my weight loss journey, the idea that my mother, or anyone, running 26.2 miles was incredibly impressive. As I pulled my mom into a hug to congratulate her, she spoke aloud.
"I will never do that again!"
Which makes it safe for her somewhat overweight son to say "Aw...I totally would have done one with you."
She leaned back and said "Really?"
I nodded. It was safe.
So when she reconfirmed with me online later, I agreed, again not taking it seriously...but when she sent me an email confirming my registration in the San Diego Marathon I though...Oh shit...I gotta run!
So where am I going with this story? Well, flash forward a few months...to an early June morning in San Diego, where my mom and I are waiting for the race to start. My mom turns to me and says something that will change my life forever...something that I have said to many many people.
"If you ever feel like you can't go further, turn around and look behind you and see how far you've come."
The marathon began, and footfall by footfall, mile by mile, around mission bay, with sea world in the back ground, amid cheers of the San Diegans and before I really knew it...I was doing something that few people have ever done.
Hours later, at twenty miles...I hit a big hill. The only real hill in the marathon and, for a moment, I thought, "what if...I just stop."
My mom's words came back to me, and I turned around and gave myself a quick glance behind me and just saw a sea of people all running, all with me...it was amazing. But even more amazing was the feeling of accomplishment...a sort of a "look how far I've come."
There was no way I was stopping. There was no way I was turning around. What would I do if I stopped? What would I do if I turned around? No...."Look how far I've come."
I finished that marathon. And the following year, when my mom and I ran that marathon again, those words still stuck with me.
Now whatever I do..., writing theatre, performing theatre, writing my book, losing weight, writing this blog...Whenever I feel like I cannot type another word, sing another note, memorize another line, take another test, do another sit up, run another mile...I think about how far I've come.
When all is said and done, will I have said more than I have done?
No, because my mother taught me to always recognize where I came from, and how far I've come, and to use those accomplishments to push me forward.
I know what I have done. Furthermore, I know it will always move me forward.