Last weekend I ran my first half marathon. It had been on my bucket list since 2011.
My Grandma inspired me to run a half marathon because she lost the ability to be active early in life and it was not her choice. Wegener’s granulomatosis made it difficult for her to walk from her car to the front door. She would tell me stories about swimming and spending time in the mountains, but she hadn’t been in a pool in 35 years and could never be more than an hour from electricity for breathing treatments.
I kept talking about my bucket list and my goal of completing a half marathon like I had forever to accomplish it.
My friend, Micah Larsen, started posting photos of half marathons, triathlons and all kinds of outdoor activities. She is a trainer in Alabama and one of the most driven people I know from home. Her posts were a wake up call.
I signed up for the Cowtown Half Marathon on an impulse and I am so glad I did.
On January 3, two of my young cousins died in a car accident. Ashton and Sofia were two of the most lively, rambunctious, fun people in my life. Losing them reminded me that life is not guaranteed. I think most people take time and health for granted.
Adults spend their lives working toward the years when they will finally have time to live.
We always look back and know what we would change, but my cousins don’t get that opportunity. At 17 and 6 years old, their lives were cut short.
I think of them everyday. I hung photos of them in my cube at work to stay motivated and remind me that everyday is a gift. I added their favorite songs to my playlist for the half and was reminded of the fun summers in Idaho with the Moore’s Fireworks crew.
I spent the race thinking back on the last two years. Saying goodbye to my Grandmother and moving 2,000 miles from home was a crazy decision, but so is running 13 miles for fun.
Looking back on Sunday, I don’t remember my legs hurting or any other pain. In fact, I remember laughing through part of mile six about my 6-year-old cousin dancing around in her underwear to Ke$ha. I remembered road tripping to Boise to work fireworks for a month and spending time with my Grandma and cousins.
I remembered how excited Sofia was the first time she saw a double rainbow and the first time I met Ashton. I recalled the day Zoey, their sister, took her first steps.
Memories and health are things we all take for granted and the only things that occupied my mind on Sunday morning. I may not be training for anything, but I’ll be running for perspective.