The Finish Line is Only a Piece of the Journey

The finish line may be what you think of when you think of running a marathon…. to me it was not only the finish line…. it was about the journey….. the goals you set for yourself are like that too….. they aren’t just about they finish line….. they are about who you become as you train day in and day out so that you can reach that finish line.  On your journey to the goals you have set for yourself…. make sure you are celebrating the little wins along the way that make up your journey….. here is they journal entry I wrote after I reached the finish line.

May 2, 2010 Marathon Day…..

This weekend was so full I don’t even know where to begin. I guess we could start with last week. Last week I had found myself in a not so happy place which I struggle with because I want to ALWAYS be happy. There were many reasons that I was beating myself up and it seemed I just couldn’t stop the monkey chatter in my head no matter what I did. On the way to pick Jules up for our adventure in Eugene I popped in a CD about positive affirmations from Louise Hays. I loved hearing that the QUEEN of positive affirmations said she hadn’t mastered the skill herself but was at least up to 75-80% living in a joyful, happy and gratitude filled life. I felt a whole release within me as I let go of the beating that had been happening for about a week now. Jules hopped in the car after saying a final “good bye and have fun” to Tyler. She was missing his first prom to participate in her first marathon. Of course if she had known this would be his prom weekend back in January when she had this crazy, hair brained idea of doing a marathon, we probably wouldn’t have spent almost EVERY Saturday for the last 4 months out in the rain! Not to mention the 5 days of training during the week that we did on our own. I remember sitting in the meeting in January thinking, is she crazy?? We can’t do a marathon. Why does she think we can do this?? I watched Jules for any sign of hesitation that I could pounce on and say NO we can’t do this, I don’t want to fail again so I don’t even want to begin, PLEASE do not tell me you want to do this! There was no hesitation from her and sitting next to my best friend that is a hundred pounds overweight and eagerly wanting to DO something about it, there just was NO good excuse I could come up with to not sign up right alongside her. (Little did I know the monumental experience I was in for; what an experience I would have missed out on if I had let fear win this one.) That first Saturday started a lot earlier than I was used to Saturday’s starting. Our entire team met downtown at the Portland Running Company for a ‘shoe clinic’ at 7:00 AM. Then we all headed out for a 1 mile walk. I did ok, considering the last time I had actually ran a mile was in 6th grade around the soccer field. Jules struggled but she was a trooper and although her feet were swollen and her feet had blisters, she didn’t complain and kept a smile on her face. As we continued our own personal training during the week and then met as a team on Saturday’s we started to gain a whole new respect for the phrase “I’m training for a marathon.” The weeks went on and the miles got longer, the courses got harder and the time investment increased. We also had another challenge that brought new respect to our heart. We started fundraising. We both had to raise $1800 each, for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. We figured with as many friends on Facebook as we had it would be easy to get everyone to donate $5 and we would be set. Turns out, it’s not that easy! We begged, pleaded, planned events but we could never get the commitment from others, to hold these events. We got discouraged and our thoughts definitely took a turn for the worse. We prayed for a miracle and an angel appeared. The owner of Great Harvest stopped me at the school and said she wanted to do a fundraiser for LLS to help us raise the funds we needed. With renewed hope we bounced back into action. We advertised, planned and did our part to ensure the success of our event. The 23rd of May we spent 10 hours of the day making fools of ourselves; yelling, jumping, twirling signs or doing whatever possible, up and down Sunnyside to get donations and draw people into the store for our fundraiser. After a wildly successful day we found ourselves just a couple hundred dollars short which our friends and family quickly took care of.
Jules and I relived this small victory we had felt in fundraising as we now drove to Eugene for our first marathon. I was suffering from a cold (which we know is from anger and inability to express myself and confusion….yes, that’s EXACTLY what my week before had been to bring about this dis-ease) and I really was not in the mood to be my usual happy, cheery self but reliving this small victory raised my spirit a bit and I was able to stop the monkey chatter at least.
We got ourselves checked into our hotel and found the other hotel to get our marathon registration stuff and then on to yet another hotel for our pasta party. ( I told Jules we should be in the Guinness Book of Records for being in the most hotels in 5 minutes…outside of Vegas and without casino’s!) We were early to the pasta party so we chilled in the lobby with all the other Team in Training Participants. When it was time to go down to dinner, we walked down the stairs to a very LOUD and rowdy cheering section. Our team coaches, trainers, mentors and others were all lined up cheering, blowing horns, ringing cow bells (more cow bell!) and high fiving all of us. It was really fun but I thought it was a little over the top and a little crazy, it didn’t really seem like that big of a deal to me…….YET! We dished our plates….carbed up….and chatted with other participants. The inspirational part of the program soon began and we heard that our group had raised more than $210,000 and that Nationwide, Team in Training had raised 2 billion dollars. We had signed up to be a part of the largest group of individuals worldwide to do this sort of thing! WOW! I started realizing this WAS a big deal. They asked all the people that had suffered from these blood cancers, that then had gotten involved with TNT to stand up. We all cheered. Then they asked all the people that had lost loved ones due to these diseases, which then got involved with TNT to stand up. We all cheered and cried! Then they asked who had not personally been touched directly by this disease but just thought it sounded like a good thing to get involved with to stand up. Jules and I rose to our feet and for the first time in a very LONG time I KNEW that I was AMAZING!!! The people that had suffered from this disease and the family members that had lost someone, honored us for being true hero’s to just do something GOOD for no other reason rather than just do GOOD! That’s when the tears started for the weekend and they haven’t stopped. NOW I knew this was a BIG DEAL! Looking back in hindsight, I know why those coaches, trainers and mentors cheered, yelled and high fived us as we came into that room. We had all been a part of something so much bigger than ourselves, yet we individually had done our parts to succeed as a whole!
Danny was the first speaker. He is a Marathon runner from Eugene. He got involved with TNT after he lost his daughter, Hannah, to Leukemia when she was 4 years old. He told a story about a Hawaiian lifeguard named Eddie that would go wherever needed. It didn’t matter the time, the weather or the conditions, Eddie would go. Danny and his wife started saying, “Hannah would go.” Because no matter what they would ask of her, she would comply with the poking, prodding, testing, etc. Danny told of a marathon he went to after telling this story and all along the route the crowd would yell “Hannah would go!” and her Spirit would lift him to the place he needed to find, to finish the race. He told of the San Francisco marathon, an especially hard one for Danny, he was heading up a hill in his 20th or so mile without many people out on the course. He was in physical pain that he couldn’t bear and decided to give up and that he was ok with that, when across a deserted square he heard someone yell, “Hannah would go!” and the last miles didn’t even exist as Danny crossed the finish line. Danny had us laughing so hard with his marathon etiquette, “don’t shoot your friends with snot bullets and drop to the back of the pack if you’re going to fart,” and then sobbing so hard the next minute with stories of his victories and Hannah. Another story he told was about a race he shouldn’t have entered because he had a spider bite and was almost paralyzed on half his body. He told us that at one point he was delirious and could see the Red Cross tent so he focused on that. He sat down at one point on the curb to rest and a little 4 year old girl was there all alone. She reached in her cooler and pulled out an otter pop and offered it to Danny. Otter pops were the only things that Hannah could eat after she had a chemotherapy session. Whether or not that little girl was there or not, I couldn’t tell you and I didn’t have the chance to ask Danny what he thought but I have a feeling that he was visited by an angel that day. What an amazing man he is and what strength he shared with his stories. He has changed my life by the way he lives and I will continue to say to myself, when the going gets tough “Hannah would go!”
The next morning as we gathered in the lobby of our hotel at 6:00 AM, Sue gave us our last little pep talk. She told us she knew we were ready for this, that we had trained hard and that we would do great. Her reassurance sank deep into my heart and I knew I would be fine; my goal was to make sure Jules crossed that finish line with me! Then Sue was somber, she asked us all to take a moment to remember the reason that we were here. She went around the circle and reminded us all of the personal stories that had been shared by each of our teammates. Kelli had lost her dad too early, little Hunter lost his fight and we had just met him in January at our kick off dinner, he was only 3, and Nick had lost his only daughter, Ashley. We all stood in a circle with our arms around each other, crying, for a moment of silence in their honor as well as all the names we carried on our shirts and our hearts. Next, Ellen led us in a final “Go Team!” cheer. Those words echo in my soul as I heard them countless times today out on the course. As we all turned to head out the door to the starting line, Nick was in front of me and I got my first vision of the angel that would carry Jules and I through this day. On his back was a beautiful little girl named Ashley, his only child! He ran today in her honor! There were many times on the course that her face would mysteriously pop up in front of us on someone else’s back and once again I KNEW that I was AMAZING because I was making a difference!
We joined over 5000 people on the starting line, over 100 of them Team in Training participants. Encircled by our coaches and trainers we anxiously stretched among the throng of people. It was with great pride that I covered my heart when I heard our national anthem being sung and joined the crowd in exuberant and joyful cries after the song finished. I have to admit, I didn’t hear the gun, amidst all the other excitement I didn’t hear the start but suddenly we were all moving forward in a quick pace. I knew we couldn’t start too fast or Jules would suffer tremendously at the end. We paced ourselves and stayed steady. The first aches and pains were familiar to Jules and she knew how to work those out with herself. We laughed and talked about all the things we normally laugh and talk about. Around mile 2 we had to make a bathroom stop that put us behind the “sweeper” patrol (the cop assigned to keep the runners safe at the back of the pack). I could tell this was upsetting to Jules because she knew that we were in the very back. Without saying a word she started running, she pushed herself until there was not another run in her and then she continued with her fast walk. I followed suit, so proud of her for really pushing her limits! After another couple miles and another couple bursts of running we were in front of the “sweeper”. Jules was now finding aches and pains that weren’t familiar to her and a whole new pain set in, the kind in your head that won’t let anything else go. I told her stories and reminded her of why we were doing this and how excited people were going to be for us, yet the monkey had gotten a hold of her mind and would not let go. I started to sing to her, just to be silly and we came up with a game. We would talk back and forth to each other with songs. This worked for a little bit but ended up being too challenging for us. After “I spy” failed out for a new game but a really good laugh because we remembered the moose part of Brother Bear (and re-enacted it…eh?) , we came up with a new game (with the help of Ellen Degenerous…our hero!!) We would decide a category and for 2 telephone poles we would name everything we could think of and the last person with a word would win. So the categories were: movie stars, things that are yellow, things that grow and a few others that escape me right now. This brought us to mile marker 7 and past our half way point without realizing it! The grocery game came next….Jules would say, “I’m going to the grocery store and I’m going to get artichokes.” Then I would say, “I’m going to the grocery store and I’m going to get artichokes and blueberries.” Do you see where this is going? It’s an alphabet game. By the end of our game we decided to stop at the grocery story to get artichokes, blueberries, cantaloupe, dolphin safe tuna, escargot, French fries, green peppers, horseradish sauce, ice cream, jam, kiwi, lemons, a mango, Nancy’s yogurt, octopus, pansies (for a centerpiece), quince jelly (don’t even know what that is, I think Jules made it up!) raspberry tea, salmon, tomatoes, unbleached flour (this was with a little help from Rhonda… of the Team in Training sweepers….she was checking on us…and thought we were a little crazy at this point but chimed in with a much needed “u” grocery item) vinegar, walnuts, xtra sugar free gum, yellow corn (weak one Jules!) and zoo crackers (nice recovery Jules, I couldn’t come up with a thing!) This game brought us to the beginning of the only really big hill we had and it was a struggle to make it up; but arm in arm Jules and I climbed to the top. We passed another walker at this time, her name bib said her name was Davis and we encouraged her as we pushed ourselves to the top. We continued forward with a constant rear view glance to check on Davis. At mile 9 we were in front of the stadium that we would eventually be entering to take our victory lap to the finish line. There many runners had already completed their run by now and were wearing their well earned medals. They cheered us on as we pressed forward. Disappointment had begun to set in as the aid stations that had water and Gatorade every 2 miles, had been torn down and we had no water with us. The small worry of not having water ahead was starting to weigh heavy on Jules mind and I could see it was going to be a problem soon. We had been told that there would be plenty of water on the course and it wasn’t something we would have to worry about. Rhonda, still hanging out with us, jumped on the phone and called the other captains and coaches for help. As we passed mile marker 9 the throng of people leaving the stadium was a bit mixed with where our route was supposed to go. I ran over and asked a volunteer in an orange jacket, Marcus, where our route continued. He gave me directions and we continued forward. Jules leaned over to me and though I know she didn’t want to ask, she sweetly requested that I go back to make sure that Davis knew where she was going as she was walking all alone. Of course I told her, I wished I had thought of it. I headed back through the crowd to find our new friend in the neon green shirt. I found Davis and walked with her a bit. We chatted a little bit about the last hill and what a great triumph it was to be done. I told her where our route was to go and was thrilled when some of her friends came running up to her give her some renewed encouragement. I wished her well and headed back to Jules. Jogging through the crowd, I weaved in between the celebrating families of the newly finished marathoners. F’ers….is what Danny had called them….as opposed to those that didn’t finish which were the DNF’ers. I caught up to Rhonda and Jules a few blocks down the route. I asked Jules how she was doing and she told me she just wanted some water. I tried to remain calm but inside frantically searched the crowd or anywhere I could get water for her. We turned right on Franklin and Rhonda continued to call for water assistance on her cell phone from anyone that could help. I saw a Subway down the road and told Jules I’d be back. I ran ahead and grabbed a couple cups of water. I ran back and handed one to Jules then continued back further to find Davis. Both were grateful for the refreshment. So many hurtles had been over come just to make it to this point and I knew we were SO close and yet SO far away. The marathon committee had picked up all the cones outlining the route and we didn’t know which way to go. Rhonda mentioned that she thought we were off course and we might have to turn and go back, this seized Julie’s heart. Everything in her shut down. Her hopes were dashed and she knew she could not finish if she had to go more than 13.1 miles, and if this little detour had been more than that, then her dreams of finishing were over. Davis caught up with us at this point and she had a map. We did our best to navigate it, when down the street comes Dennis, as fast as he can go, carrying a 12 pack of water bottles! He renewed our spirits with his confidence in us finishing what we had started and we heaved forward with his directions. We were right on course and had not strayed from where we needed to be going. Now a pack; Jules, Davis, Rhonda and me, shoved forward. The Eugene coach, Nina joined us too. One of Jules favorite things to do is to get to know people so I started asking Davis questions so Jules would be able to get into it. Davis turned out to be absolutely brilliant with 3 master degrees and was studying for her PHD. She had motivated herself to just come out here and do this marathon all by herself. I felt replenished energy as she told us her story and so blessed to have her in our circle. We shared a little about Team in Training with her, since by this time she was surrounded by these crazy purple people. What seemed like the longest mile on the course to me, finally ended at mile 10 as we crossed Knickerbocker bridge. Davis started to slow her pace a bit and had some cramps in her foot. In contrast, Jules found she was able to go faster, Nina was on a scooter so keeping up with her seemed to be a challenge Jules wanted to rise to. We entered a beautiful forested path along the Willamette River. I started a new query, with Nina this time and soon we were deeply entrenched in the beautiful heart of the Eugene coach. She works for a company that aids in the adoption of international children. She shared some stories with us about her experiences with escorting children back to the states for a new life. It was fascinating and the pain that Jules was suffering was able to be ignored a little. Her back ached, her stomach was cramping, her feet were throbbing with a steady heart beat, her hands were swollen and about to burst, and there were so much other soreness, I worried a little, that our last few miles would not be attained but Jules NEVER gave into this thought. Quitting was NEVER an option for her, she told me later. As the trees closed in around us I could tell Jules was hitting her wall….if she hadn’t hit it a mile ago… I started to sing again. This time it was the classic, the ants go marching one by one…..Jules?? I’m going to need a harrah, harrah! The ants go marching one by one…..I paused…..’harrah, harrah’ came the meek, muffled whimper. I continued the song and by the time we had made it to 7, Jules was listening so intently on when she needed to ‘harrah’ that she had forgotten how wracked with pain her body felt. Well, probably not forgotten but she wasn’t consumed by it. At mile marker 11, I had to ditch out to the ‘honey bucket’. Nina and Jules pressed on. Jules was determined to keep going, she didn’t want to stiffen up. When I jogged up the path to find Julie, I noticed that Nina was no longer at her side. Jules told me that she had asked Nina to please go back and find Davis. Jules told me that when you are overweight and in this much pain you cannot be left alone in the forest, your head just starts yelling terrible things and she was so afraid of Davis being out on the course alone. Nina graciously headed back. And this told me EXACTLY where Jules was in her head. This last few miles was going to be rough.
Across the bridge we passed mile marker 12 and Jules and I shared an early victory high 5! Just down the hill we saw Dennis, Sue, Kiera and Heidi. Sue ran to us to take our picture, (of course ) and then she continued on with us. She gave us instructions of what it would look like to walk into the stadium, where to look to see our larger than life images on the jumbo-tron and where to wave for our victory photo. I’m not sure Jules could hear any of this anymore and as soon as Sue finished I told Julie I was going to tell her a story….about a bear… his underwear! So it began, another song…..The other day (Jules repeated….The other day)….my turn……I saw a bear….(Jules repeated) ……………..a great big bear (Jules repeat)…….me… his underwear…..(Jules repeat). You get the idea. The story continued up the street and just a block before our grand entrance. When we both realized where we were we started to cry. We saw the entrance to Hayward Stadium and we knew our journey was ending and just beginning! Just before we entered we high fived with a clasped grasp and looked in each others’ eyes and affirmed, “We did this!” Tears continued as we walked around the beautiful track. The stadium was filled and the crowd was cheering. The announcer said our names and then told everyone we were part of Team in Training and we had raised over $210,000 for LLS. Our hearts were full and it poured out of our eyes and down our cheeks as once again we KNEW we were AMAZING!!! Patti, a dear friend of Jules, was visiting her daughter in Eugene for the weekend so she came to the stadium to cheer for us. We saw her along the fence line and hugged her and exchanged “I Love You’s” as we continued our victory lap. As we crossed the finish line, we grabbed hands and raised them high over our head in celebration!! WE FINISHED!!! We were awarded our beautiful medals and continued into the crowd. Our thoughts were if we stopped, we might not be able to start again so let’s get to the TNT tent ASAP. We unfortunately got turned around and ended up hiking around the whole block to find the tent, just another lesson to not limit ourselves to the 13.1 miles we had signed up to do. We chatted with fellow contestants as we walked. One gentleman asked how we had done and we told him we finished and it was our first marathon. We told him there was nothing like it as we both became a emotional again and told him we would never forget it, he agreed and said if someone doesn’t get that feeling, they didn’t do it right. We made it back over to the TNT tent and sat down. We sat in silence and sat….and sat…..and sat. Not even talking, just sitting and being. I don’t know what was going through Jules mind but mine was clear. I was completely present. I breathed in the day! I relished the feeling of the heavy weighted medal that sat on my chest. I gratefully thanked my aching feet for the pain that let me know I had finished what I had committed myself to. I pleasantly turned my gaze toward the sky and whispered a quiet, “You knew I could do this…didn’t you?” Tears once again confirmed the feelings in my heart that I was AMAZING and someone else KNEW this too. After a very good long break, we visited with a few others and inquired if Davis had finished. We were pleased to hear that she had also made it across the finish line. Once I was fully rested, I announced I would go get the car. It was back at the hotel about a mile away. I know Jules ached for me as she didn’t want me to go alone and yet, she physically could not go. I played it off as no big thing and though I know I was not in the pain that Jules was in, the thought of one more mile shivered down my spine. Off I went making my way through the U of O campus. One little girl noticed my medal and asked if I won, I confidently told her “I did!” I’m not sure if the finish line or the sight of my car was more of a relief for my feet. I dropped into the seat and quickly headed back to my wing man. She climbed aboard as I bailed out to find a ladies room. I saw Rhonda and Sue near the finish line and asked if Amy had come in yet. Amy was another of our team mates that was actually walking the full marathon. She was a lot like Jules and I and we were excited to see her finish. Rhonda said she was still a few miles out. I went back to the car and asked Jules if she minded if we stayed for a little while longer. She enthusiastically agreed that we would stay to see Amy finish. We drove my little Joan Jetta down closer to the finish line. There was a parking spot right at the front gates. I parked and took off my shoes. We sat in silence for a little while. Then, I hopped out and ran over to where I could see down the street to look for purple. There was no purple but a few more walkers of the full marathon were making their way in and I cheered and high fived them as they entered the stadium. I couldn’t help but think of the crowd that was there for us when we arrived and how many more must have been there an hour before we arrived. I was a pretty small crowd for the final walkers making their way into those gates but the feeling remained victorious just the same. The streets of Eugene pulsed with victory today!! I went back over to the car and checked to see how Jules was doing, she was doing great! Feet were swollen and blistered, body was battered and beat up but her spirit was soaring. We laughed, we cried, we relived moments from our day. Every now and then I’d go check for purple or we’d cheer a walker into the stadium. The day was perfect and exactly where we were was perfect. We had nowhere to be, no one we had to be with and no one to answer to. Today it was all about us! “The miracle was not that we had finished, the miracle was that we had the courage to begin!” Uncle Bob, had sent this inspiring message to Julie and she had shared it with me. At this moment, it rang more true than we had ever felt it before and we knew that we would take this experience as a victory, a success and an amazing accomplishment into our ever changed life! Once again I peeked down the course, searching for purple. Clear down the road I saw the color we had waited for. It wasn’t clear who it was yet. I shouted over to Julie so she could come over and cheer for Amy too if it was her. As the figures got closer I could tell that there were two purple wearing people on either side of another figure…..I burst into tears as I realized that Dennis and Heidi were carrying a fallen runner. The runner was not a part of Team in Training, but she wanted to finish the race. She had experienced a seizure of some sort and her feet just weren’t working right. I yelled at Julie, “you have GOT to get over here, they are carrying someone?” Jules pushed past the sharp pains that screamed through her body and made her way over to the fence that led to the entrance to the stadium. “Is it Amy?” She asked. “It’s not.” I told her and we both break open into tears again. Grateful that our teammate had not fallen and so proud to be a part of Dennis and Heidi’s team, right in front of us we saw two true hero’s carry a wounded soldier to her finish line! We watched as they carried her around the track to where her family embraced her at the finish. Amy was right behind them! We cheered wildly and high fived her as she broke into a little jog to celebrate her victory lap! We pulled the car back to the Team in Training tent to make sure that Amy wouldn’t have to walk back to the hotel. We were assured by all the coaches that she had enough family that would be able to get her back there. We offered the coaches, captains and mentors a ride back to the hotel which they gratefully accepted. After dropping them off we headed to our victory BBQ. I wasn’t exactly clear on where were going and turned up the road where our starting line was. We saw Amy and two other mentors walking. One of them was Kelli, she had fallen and banged up her knee really bad and her cheek but she had savored victory as well. We asked the group where they were headed and they told us back to the hotel. I knew that it wasn’t a mistake that I had turned up this road and we loaded them up and gave them a much needed ride back to the Phoenix Inn. We asked Kelli how she was doing? She was in great spirits and relayed that she was excited to start training for her next event, the fall had not dampened her will to press forward. Now we were ready for our victory lunch. We sat outside and enjoyed the sun as we savored our final moments of “Team in Training, Eugene Marathon 2010”. Climbing back into the car, neither one of us spoke. We turned Louise Hays on to listen to her inspiration. Apparently basking and marinating in our glow of success renewed energy we didn’t know we could summon. Our bodies were BROKEN but our spirit was ALIVE with rejuvenated vitality! We turned off the CD and talked excitedly all the way home of the many lessons, miracles and greatness we were a part of! We were our own inspiration today. We were both overwhelmed with gratitude as we found our way HOME. I personally will give thanks tonight for my loving Father in Heaven for each and every experience this weekend….from the small to the HUGE. I am also grateful that the weekend started out in what I would perceive as a bad mood because I was able to so dramatically change that from the power WITHIN me!!!
The week following I seemed to walk on sunshine. The lessons learned poured in and these are just a few of the many life altering moments I felt!
– I really AM a good person with a loving heart (that has been questioned this year and I know now what is true!)
– I AM the change I want to see in the world and my actions show it
– It truly is HOW you live that matters
– I never gave up on my wingman, as long as she was committed to moving forward
– I knew that I would continue even if my wingman gave up, I would be sad and not want to move forward, but I would move forward and finish the race
– We may be alone but we are also all one…..the extra “L” is for “love”
– The miracle wasn’t in finishing, the miracle was in having the courage to begin
– I spent more time and effort raising money for people I didn’t know than for myself the past 4 months and the reward is priceless!
– I can and will succeed what I put my mind, will and heart into
– Never allow fear of failure hold me back from the experiences that will change my life forever
– Never let excuses keep me from taking risks with big rewards
– You never know what you don’t know
– That medal means more than anyone will ever know and NO ONE can ever take that away
– There are people in this world that may not appear to be hero’s, never judge another because you may just be in the presence of a “Danny, dad of Hannah” or “Dennis, the gently giant” Both Hero’s among men!
– Music can push you the next mile
– Everyone plays an important role in life
– I could only prepare myself for this race. I couldn’t do Julie’s training for her.
– What you put into it, you get out of it
– Let go and let God
– I AM amazing when I want to be
– Victory of self is the greatest victory of all
– Dedication, diligence and determination build self confidence
– Do something each day to ‘train’ – even resting is something needed in vigorous training
– Begin with the end in mind
– Help others along the way
– Encouragement, genuinely given, is like sunshine to weary flowers, it lifts the soul
– Each finish line is a new beginning

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