Four years ago, I toed the line of a marathon that pulled the carpet out from underneath me. I didn’t realize how thin the ice was; I fell through, hard. I bonked with 10 miles to go. Ten painful miles that were littered with negative self-talk. I was gunning for a Boston qualifying time, only to see it slip away.

I thought I had my head in the game, but I was only looking at the surface.

This evening, I went for my daily mile run (day 275) – an honor to my late grandmother, a meditation, a movement prayer. I started walking. My body is still feeling the effects of having run 40 miles last Sunday. As I rounded the corner, I pulled my hat lower and started shuffling my feet.

I said to myself, “I have my head in the game.”

I thought I had my head in the game in 2015. Nope. I crashed and burned. I needed to work on myself before my body would follow.

These were all the thoughts I had tonight…the anniversary of this marathon.

Since then, I’ve completed two more marathons, a few 13.1’s, a few triathlons, including two half iron distances, and one ultramarathon (a 40-miler). I’m surrounded and supported by a great tribe, but my foundation is what I have built in my heart and between the ears. I’ve done the work; the body is now following.

I’ll certainly get back to attempting a BQ time again; I’ve just found more important goals. I also learned that one race, one time, one anything, doesn’t define me as an athlete, as a person.

I define me.
I have my head in the game.

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