I’m not sure even how to begin this. I come home from a busy afternoon. My son and I are decorating a new bedroom for my oldest, who turns 13 on the last day of his trip. He will walk in, and he will…for the first time, have his own room.
A very dear friend @Bfrein, sent me the most beautiful and thoughtful gift…a rack for my medals. It even has a holder for the STUPID baton that we got at San Diego Rock N Roll Marathon. I was so excited, I put all the medals on and pounded holes in the walls without measuring or anything. Okay. Start over. SO I got everything together, and followed directions, and put the thingys in the wall, and screwed it in, and then it was done.
And, it looks perfect on my wall of fame. All my bibs from 2008 to now. My race plans for marathons on the wall. And I centered my LA Marathon one in the middle, because I’m thrilled for Marine Corps Marathon, but LA is when I’m coming back for redemption. So, it’s my focus.
And, as I was putting all of these medals on the rack, one stood out to me…and it was so seemingly insignificant that I nearly missed it, sitting on a pin in the far back. It was red and dusty, and not really a medal at all.
It was the ribbon I got when I crossed the finish line at my very first official race in January 2008. We had only started Couch to 5k that previous Halloween, and this was the FIRST BIG RACE. We carb loaded Friday night. We were so nervous that we woke as early as possible to drive there. I don’t even remember where it was. The bay area. The race report was so miniscule. I didn’t even know how to write one.
But this red ribbon. THIS one. It’s the one that started me on my way. Other medals, such as the Half Marathon of Death, which is shoved to the left…they are markers of races and times and friends and the journey. There are miles of stories to tell with each one….The first place medal I won….out of one…The relay race I ran with Row’s husband…The relay team of “We Run This Town” and laughing and shivering…The 3rd place medal I won as I ran to the finish line as the race organizers were picking up the cones…the heartbreak at Napa to Sonoma of finding out a betrayal of many years…and meeting a new and kind friend…
The stories are all there, on that wall. But they don’t have any numbers…no PRs next to them…because for THIS girl? It’s never been about the numbers, except for my new goal. It’s always been about the people. The places. The stories. The friendships and love.
All the teams and the times and the towns.
And the red ribbon is moved to the front…right in the middle. Because it says the words “RUNNERS”. And this community of misfits and rockstars and slow and fast…and young and old…we are all just RUNNERS. It’s not my runnerversary, but again, in my most humble voice, I say thank you to all of you. In the voice of a 51 year old single mother raising boys in the most interesting of times…I say I love you.