A "Dopey" at Disney is no easy feat. Lot's of training, eating right, and learning how to pace and fuel is what it takes to get ready for these amazing four days of racing. On the day of the last race which is a full 26.2 miles you stand at the starting line asking yourself a million questions. The one's that quickly come to your mind are...Will I actually PR on this race? Why am I doing this? Should I go to the bathroom before the race starts? As the crowd surges forward, your adrenaline kicks in. At this point, you know that you either paid your dues or that you skimped along the way. There is no lying to yourself here. As a friend always reminds me at the end of training and before each race, "The hay is in the barn now". It's time to show what you got! There is no lying to yourself, the Marathon sees right through excuses, shortcuts, and self trangressions. The Marathon doesn't just build character, it reveals it. All goes well for the first half, but by the pounding of each step, the pain mounts and the intensity of the endeavor amplifies. You remain steadfast and take on each mile as it comes telling yourself you can do this, you worked too hard not to do this. Still, with each draining, aching, thrust forward, that little nagging voice in the back of your head begins producing self doubt. You listen to your heart and the burning desire to complete this goal. You keep putting one foot in front of the other. Courage comes in many forms. Today you will have the courage to keep trying and to not give up regardless of how dire things become. Then you hit mile "20", the little voice is louder but it's now saying what is "6" miles, you got this. At mile "26" you can barely see the course ahead, you just want this run to end. Then out of no where the finish line looms large before you. Tears appear out of no where, you are not sure why you are so emotional. Then it hits you, you have accomplished your dream. You burst across the finish line and all is forgotten. You are liberated from any self doubt, limitations that has held you captive. You have learned more about yourself in the past 26.2 miles than you have previously ever known. You have freed yourself from those chains that bind you. Yes, you may be tired, sore, and may not walk for days but you will never feel so free. You are now a Marathoner and you will wear this distinction in all areas of the life you live. The distinction won't be in the medals you wear but will be deep inside your heart. Nothing can or will ever take this triumph away from you. The gift is yours. You are an achiever, you are a success, you are an inspiration, you are a Marathoner.
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