This tribute post has been on my mind since day one of #BrightOrangeShoes. There are a lot of people who – even if they don’t know it – are rooting for me. Without this pair, I may have never crossed a marathon finish line. My tribute today goes out two very important inspirations in my life. They challenge me to continue to move forward when I feel stuck and encourage me to keep going when I feel stopped. Normally my tributes are to one person but when I think of one of these people, the other is right there by their side.
Mom and Dad – or in real life Debbie and Lyle – Thanks for saying nothing but positive things when Meghan and I told you we signed up for the Seattle Marathon 2 years ago. Thanks for flying to LA and getting up before the sun for our Long Beach marathon one year ago. Thanks for always asking about “how the run went” for as long as I can remember. It meant a lot, even when I would coldly turn my shoulder and walk away.
Two years ago, these two cut Thanksgiving short so that they could be there when Meghan and I finished our first 26.2 miler. It was a freezing morning that started at 7 am after indulging on wine and turkey the night before. There were crazy crowds and only one coffee shop open. Downtown streets were closed, so god only knows the traffic was ON POINT. Regardless of all that these two showed up with smiles and signs.
Meghan and I were so in the zone that when we turned that 13 mile corner and saw Mom, Dad, Erik, Colton, and Alison standing there – a new burst of energy flooded me and all I could do was run up and hug them, forgetting how cold and sore I was. After 5 hours of running, Meghan and I got to the finish line – which was sparse cause we were bringing up the tail – all I heard was “WHOOW GO SARAH! WHOOW GO MEGHAN!” shouted by Mom – all I saw was Dad standing there with coats and a smile.
It was my mom and dad that were there to see the tears of joy as we crossed our first finish line. It was my Mom and Dad that were so instant on taking finisher pictures after we got our medals and only wanted to crash on the ground. It was my dad that collected chocolate milk, chapstick, fruit, bagels, and sweat bands for me when I was getting a recovery massage.
Two and a half years ago, when I told Mom and Dad that I signed up to run a marathon the day after Thanksgiving, it was meant to be more of an “FYI – I have plans” but turned into a “I can’t thank you enough for being there”.
Running races are not that fun to watch. You have to maneuver through closed streets to be at the right place at the right time and it is never guaranteed that you will actually see the runner you are there to show your sign too. Then they run by and you hustle and hope you see them at the next check point. So far my marathon count is only 2 but my parents have mastered the spectator role. They have always been at the right place and the right time. As the runner, those four seconds are ones that I will never forget.
Thank you for always encouraging me to go after what I want. Thank you for always being amazing role models. Thank you for putting up with my prioritizing running sometimes. Thank you for standing in the cold and the heat for 5 hours just to watch Meghan and I cross the finish line.
could would not have done this without both of you.
❤ Your #BrightOrangeShoes