It took 24 years of hell to understand.
Even if it killed me, it became an obsession to pursue the goal which I was born to succeed. My dream outweighed my doubts, and I stepped towards something I owed my younger, overweight and depressed self.
One day, you will live a dream worth every minute of your life – it’s why you were born. Every dream is entirely possible, and I needed to prove that.
I wanted to run a full 42.2 kilometer marathon, despite never running more than 12 km at a time. My doctor not only believed I couldn’t do it, but apparently my life was partially at risk by doing this.
I’ve never spoken of that until now.
If you find something you are willing to die for, you know the quality of life.
For 70 days, all I thought about was the finish line.
It was more than weight loss, or just proving everyone wrong – the ones who spat in my face. It was a responsibility. No one was going to do this for me. I ran the longest miles of my life, melting the weight off. I couldn’t fail this time, despite the death I felt with each step.
My body was tortured, people were malicious to me and yet courage existed. I received messages from strangers begging me to run this marathon. People had read about me losing 100 pounds, and said they needed me to do this for them. People with obesity, heart problems, or who simply believed they couldn’t do it were messaging me. Emotion overtook my training.
It was much more than a marathon at this point.
In those months, I was harassed, contemplated suicide once more, and had my heart broken yet again. I was spat on, laughed at, mocked, tormented, doubted and I even quit at one point. And damn if it wasn’t the best time of my life.
For every doubt I had, there was a small voice deep in my mind saying I couldn’t quit. The voice in your heart is more powerful then the one laughing in your face.
I was down 114 pounds overall in the weeks prior. I couldn’t walk most days, and the map of the marathon course cost me a perfectly good set of pants. Losing count of how many times I crossed the walking bridge to a dying sunset over the Fredericton skyline, I found the belief I was willing to die for.
For my final run, I went back to where it all went wrong for me. During my first ever attempt at a long run, a car of teens pulled over to harass me. I cried my way home and attempted to take my life once more. Now here I was, 114 pounds lighter, with less than 2 km in my final run of marathon training. Within 500 meters of the exact spot it happened: someone pulled over to throw garbage at me.
In a weird way, I needed that. It reminded me why I was doing this. Pursuing a dream means overcoming a lot more than a few simple minds.
I approached the start line more terrified than I had ever been. The moment had come. So much was riding on these next few hours. I had no idea I had already won, regardless of how the next 26 miles went. There is much more to life than adversity. We were born incredible. We just focus so much on the end result we overlook what it takes to get there.
So much pain was about to happen to me. But for the first time I was not only ready, but knew the quality of life was worth dying for.
“In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.” – Bill Cosby
And in case you think about giving up, here is another piece of motivation.
“The only thing that stands between you and your dream is the will to try and the belief that it is actually possi-ble” – Joel Brown.