I started a journey four months ago with mostly selfish intentions - to lose some weight and complete an endurance event before my 35th birthday. Sure it was for a good cause, I would raise money for cancer research, and maybe make some new friends.
Over the past four months, I knew that I would be challenged physically and I knew I would probably learn some lessons along the way but what I didn't expect was the emotional impact of this journey.
A few weeks ago at one of our training runs, one of the office staff members came to speak to us. In her hands was a large gift bag that contained a large garbage bag filled with empty pill bottles from her sons chemotherapy. Her son at age 9 started filling his body with chemicals to kill the cancer. He is now 12 years old and in remission due to the advances in cancer research. Seeing all those empty pill bottles and knowing that they went into a little boys body touched my heart, especially as a mother, to the very core.
This past weekend, three of my teammates completed their marathons in Boise. In 95 degree heat. With smiles on their faces. I am so proud of them! For the last 50 yards of each of their runs, our team stood on the grass cheering, clapping, ringing cow bells, and blowing whistles to show our support and encourage them on to the finish line. Each time, my eyes filled with tears. To see them complete their events that they had trained so hard for was awesome. Knowing that my event was two short weeks away, they gave me inspiration and hope.
I have taken more from this journey than I ever imagined. I was hoping that physically my body would change after all the training but I didn't even comprehend how emotionally I would be changed forever. I didn't realize how bonded I would feel with the people I have trained with over the past four months. I didn't understand how good it would feel to be part of a team. I didn't realize how important the support and encouragement of others would be. I didn't realize that this is truly about the journey and not the destination - until now.