Sunday, January 29, 2006

Running... And Life

Today, I completed my 5th Half-Marathon, the 3rd Miami Half-Marathon in a row!! 13.1 miles! Check the mileage in your car next time you are driving around and you'll understand.

This idea of running started in 1994. I was turning 30 and my cousin called me and asked me what did I think about running the New York Marathon (26.2 miles). I laughed. I laughed hard; that's what I thought! He continue his argument by saying, 'what would happen when we get to 60, and we look back and wonder what if? I was sold. I did not want to question myself later in life about the things I could have done. Besides, when I lived in New York in 1989, I was around Central Park watching the runners with their medals, feeling jealous, and I told myself I had to do that once.

Well, that was accomplished; today, at 41, I have ran the New York Marathon twice. While back in 1994 I already suffered from bad knees, 11 years later, they are really bad! Now a brace has to accompany my runs for stability and less swelling. The pain and discomfort are there always, but like Apollo Creed explained his desire to fight again to Mr. Balboa in Rocky IV, "we are warriors, and without a war we might as well be dead". Just take a look at the picture on the left; those are my knees during my first ice treatment after the race today. Compare both of them, and you'll see the swelling and redness in the right knee cap.

I love running. There are so many similarities between running and life. The first being that the race is not necessarily against anyone else, but yourself. Everyone has a gift; everyone has their own pace. That hard work and
preparation yields results at the end of the day. That the courage is not found on finishing the race, but in getting to the starting line or like in life, starting an action. Just like in life, you experience different emotions on the same situation; there is anxiety, fear, pain, contempt and elation! The people next to you are white, black, Hispanic, Arab, fat, skinny, older, younger, Christian, Jew, etc, richer or poorer, healthy or handicap, men and women. It is one RACE, (pun intended). All moving forward in the same direction, with the same goal in mind, sharing the same emotions, and cheering and supporting one another.

The Miami Marathon and Half-Marathon gives the best tour that the city has to offer; on foot. Beginning at 0600am, in downtown in front of the beautiful American Airlines Arena, crossing over the first causeway at a time when the cruise ships, with their majestic look, are quietly entering the canal to our right to finish their journey. With Star Island to our left and the multimillion dollars homes and yachts that have glamoured TV Shows like Miami Vice or CSI Miami. Then making it to South Beach and running in front of the Deco Buildings as the morning yellow, blueish and orange lights starts coming over the palm tress and reflecting on them. Crossing a bunch of little cays with still waters and the gentle bobbing of personal boats. And of course, beautiful weather.

At the end of the day for all the efforts, after you cross the finish line you get a medal. No matter how old you are, or how many times you have crossed that line, or how much pain you are in, it is always an emotional accomplishment; "the thrill of victory, and the human drama of athletic competition".

And like in life, you feel confident, and start looking forward to your next challenge, your next accomplishment, and your next reward.


Blogger Cheri said...

Congratulations T-! What a great accomplishment! Such determination, such commitment, such disclpline...kinda of sexy!

That knee, my goodness, you better take care of it!!

12:43 AM  
Blogger Cheri said...

One more thought! You got some hot legs there! Just had to add that...

12:45 AM  
Blogger Sweetmiss said...

Go T, that's awesome. I don't think I cold ever do that, you're my hero. Hope your knee feels better.

I second Cheri's last thought, lol, I am a perv, it's to be expected.


6:53 AM  
Blogger TMelendez said...

Thanks C..
the courage is to start the action!

Sweet.. anyone could do it.. thats the greatest thing.. you dont know how many people have told me in 11 years, they cannot do it, and now the majority of them have ran more races than me, and in many cases,many of them in much faster times. Even when the glass floor is gone, it is just you out there, doing it!

Both - so lets see.. better in shorts than in jeans?

10:27 AM  
Blogger Fred said...

Congrats! I get winded walking to my car, so I can fully appreciate what you did.

8:37 PM  
Blogger Lori said...

Hmmm.....Thanks for reminding me that I turn 30 this year....and now the pressure of running in a marathon!!!....Geee thanks!!!...LOL

It's great you do this for yourself....Congrats!!!

Have a great day!!!

2:48 AM  
Blogger TMelendez said...

Fred.. its the shag.. get a haircut like your students say and you should be lighter..

Lori... you are getting me back arent you..!!??

8:34 PM  
Blogger Lori said...

T....Yes I am....LOL

Have a great night!!!

10:54 PM  
Blogger Hale McKay said...

Congratulations, T. I admire the stamina it takes for those road races. I ran cross country in high school - but no serious running since. Too many years and too many cigarettes later, I'm afraid that at almost 60, my running days are long over.
...Speaking of marathons, it appears you and Cheri could go a few laps.

12:32 AM  
Blogger TMelendez said...

LOL Hale...
She is going to die laughing when she sees your comment...

11:27 PM  
Blogger BarbaraFromCalifornia said...

Congratulations! That is so very awesome~

I cannot imagine running a marathon, let alone in the Miami heat! You deserve two metals.

5:35 PM  

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