Hubby and his brother and sister ran a half ironman triathlon this weekend… and all finished proudly! Exhaustedly (yes that’s a word now), but proudly!
If you aren’t familiar, those races have a cut-off, after which even if you cross the finish you won’t have an official time recorded… you have 8 hours.
Just think – 8 hours of intense exercise, pain in your legs, doubt in your mind, but fire in your heart… and if the fire is flickering there are plenty of people on the sidelines to spark it back up. We watched as a guy 30 seconds from the cut off and just steps from the finish stopped – he could just go no more – an older gentleman, he would receive no less praise for not making the cutoff time but the crowd wasn’t gonna let it happen! He made it
And then you saw a few minutes later and then many more minutes later, people that were still running, jogging, shuffling along, fighting to get to the finish… knowing full well that they had already missed the cut-off. They probably considered turning and walking to their car instead, but they fought on to cross that finish. I’ll let you consider the many reasons they may have done this (maybe they have a daughter watching, perhaps it’s stubborn pride, maybe they just wanna see if it’s in them to step across the last of the 70.3 miles), but stop for a second and really put yourself in that moment – it’s inspiring… and heartbreaking… and inspiring!
They may not have an official record of that effort and that may have caused a few tears to fall, but they received no less cheering, no less respect, and no less pride for giving their full effort into what they set out at 4:30 that morning to do!