I was near the end…I knew that nothing would stop me from getting to the finish line…
And there it was, in front of me. I felt my feet move from the hard surface of the asphalt to the cushioned turf of the race track. I kept running. I was almost there. I saw the finish line ahead of me. People all around me were socializing, basking in the glory of their newly achieved victory, wishing their loved ones and friends congratulations. And I would be there soon.
I DID IT! Two hours and fourteen minutes later, I crossed the finish line. I looked around me. My body was totally drained. I had no energy to even stand anymore. I sat down on the grass. I looked around but I couldn’t find anything to quench that unbelievable thirst I was feeling. No popsicles, no water, nothing! I lay down and looked up at the sky. What had started off as grey and gloomy that morning was now blue with white fluffy clouds above me. I didn’t stretch. I would definitely pay for that later. I was feeling this great high and terrible low all at the same time. My sister stood over me, not exactly sure what to do or how to help…feeling helpless. Someone brought me a sugar drink and a muffin; I don’t know who it was but it was a definite act of kindness on their part. Mental note to self: Next time bring food, drinks, toilet paper and lots of courage.
This was my first time running a half-marathon. The Jerusalem half-marathon is a stunning and inspiring run. We ran through ancient valleys, parks, through the Jerusalem forest, to the top of the hills of the neighborhood Bayit Vegan, down towards the Malcha valley and back to the University. It was breathtaking.
I have been training for this event in a truly committed way from my home town, Efrat. It is hilly in my home town so it was definitely a familiar thing for me to run on uneven terrain when I ran in Jerusalem. It was so beautiful to look out onto the hills and the beautiful views Jerusalem has to offer while listening to Matisyahu’s song about Jerusalem. And even when I was listening to 50 Cent (he’s such a poet) I felt this burning determination to do this thing.
I said to me, “Self, you are going to finish this run! Not because you are in better shape than anyone here running with you, not because you are stronger or even because you are more fit. You are going to finish this race because you are determined to do so. And that was that!”
The will of man/woman coupled with opportunity is a sure fire recipe for success. Thank you God for the opportunity and thank you to myself for not giving up! This post was written in honor of the children of Shalva and their families who have the will. May God give them all the opportunities they need to make their lives truly beautiful!