May 19, 2009
The past and the present and the future.
Faith and Hope and Charity,
The heart and the brain and the body
Give you three as a magic number.
- Schoolhouse Rock's 3 is a Magic Number
It's true! 3 is magic.
At mile 13 of my adventure in Ogden, I stopped running. The body felt great (other than the bottoms of my under-calloused feet), but the mind was mush. MUSH, I tell you. For the first time in my pilgrimage as a runner, I didn't want to finish a marathon. All that training? Who cares! Spouse? He'll understand. Yahoo's? They just want to get home to play with friends.
I made plans to quit and find the Shame Train.
Then I remembered that this marathon isn't just about me. This marathon is a matter of international relevance.
Let me explain. Spouse works with some engineers in India. In an effort to become more acquainted, Spouse has started a blog with the idea that all can post pictures and stories to document what happens in their personal lives. To give insight to the personality, perhaps (and you thought engineers didn't have personality!)
Last week Spouse told them about wheat. More specifically, he explained the process of preserving thousands of pounds of wheat in white buckets. Pictures of this modus operandi were included. He also posted a close-up of some homemade bread – 'cause at our house, that's the point of wheat.
So there I was, at mile 13 with a mind of mush, making plans to grab the Shame Train, when I remembered Spouse's plan to document the insanity of marathon running for his friends in India. He'd been taking pictures non-stop. We took pictures of Yahoo #1 reading as he walked and the aftermath of the carbo-loading meal (complete with multiplication logic on a napkin). Spouse even had plans to reveal photos of us letting the Yahoos fly Supermans from bed to bed at the hotel (don't tell anyone).
This is a matter of international relevance! I thought to myself. I must finish! In the interest of world peace (or something like that), I must finish!
And so it was, at mile 13 with a mind of mush, that I slammed back a vodka-flavored powergel, chased it with red sodium-injected kool-aid and started to run again. I must finish this marathon for my inspirations in India: Utkarsh, Abdul, Chetan and Nasiruddin.
13 miles later, I grabbed the Yahoos to run with me. 3 of us finished the last 385 yards with a time of Three 3s (3:33).
I cried for 3 minutes - because that's what I do at the end of marathons these days. All of that pain and accomplishment brings out the humility and gratitude like nothing else. I'm grateful. For a family, for freedom, for a mind, for a body that works, for strength, for weakness, for being a wife and mother, for struggles, all of it.
For the first time, I wiped a brow in relief for not finishing faster – 9 seconds to be exact. For 9 seconds (3x3), would have given us two 3s and a 2.
3 is a magic number.