-Patti Sue Plumer, U.S. Olympian
Yesterday I ran the Pittsburgh Half-Marathon. Actually, allow me to clarify; my artificial heart valve and I ran the half-marathon.
Running the 13.1 mile course proved the most physical and mentally challenging task I've ever taken on. I did it though, and I'm still feeling the euphoria.
Though my legs throb and ache, and going up or down steps presents a cumbersome challenge, I enjoy the pain. It reminds me of the struggle. It emphasizes the journey.
Thank you, legs, for carrying me through each step of the race.
Thank you, mental fortitude, for pushing through when all rational screamed to stop.
Thank you, heart, for beating strong and well.
Thank you, body, for allowing me to push you to the limit.
Having the opportunity to participate in such a motivating event touched my spirit in a way I can't begin to explain. Perhaps it rekindles old memories of days when I wasn't so healthy, or maybe it reaffirms my belief in making healthy decisions. Either way, looking around at the 17,000 runners had a very emotional effect on me.
It was only 6:30 in the morning, yet people of all ages, each with their own unique story, were lined up and ready to push their bodies to the limit. I teared up during the National Anthem.
2 hours, 6 minutes, and 3 seconds after starting, I crossed the finish line.
So many people take their health for granted. I, however, am thankful and blessed. I'm a survivor. My mission, for now, has been accomplished.