Yesterday, on the 19th of January 2020, I completed a challenge that was 16 years in the making. An intent I laid out to myself in October 2004—to complete the full 42.2 kilometre distance of a marathon—finally came true.
It was a test of human endurance and the limits of my own performance; truly the hardest physical challenge I have ever completed.
Five months of committed training, countless 3 a.m. morning runs, numerous toe blisters and lost toe nails, muscle cramps, knee pains and chaffage in places I never thought possible—all of it came down to race-day.
The goal was simple: put one step in front of the other—50,000 times! I burned through 3500 calories, had my heart beat at 140 beats per minute for almost 6 hours, and when the sun was at its highest along the route and the temperature at its hottest, I was at my maximum heart rate for almost an hour!
But through all of this, even ‘hitting the wall’ at 35 kilometres, whilst my body was in pain and at times couldn’t comprehend what was happening, NOT for even a second did my mind believe that I was not going to finish.
And as I approached the penultimate kilometer, to see my wife, my family and friends (with all their little children) screaming my name and holding up signs of support, my physical spirit lifted. They ran alongside me for the last kilometre, with my son Aeden in front of me.
I went off ahead for the last 100 metres, wanting to cross the finish line alone. With every ounce of strength I could muster, I raised my arms in the air as I went across the line, flooded with emotion. Not because of the years of dreaming or the months of sacrifice. But to know that today marks the start of something new.
That forever more, I will be a Marathon finisher.
That forever more I will live unconstrained by my physical limits.
That forever more, borrowing the words of a running legend, I will live knowing that I AM POSSIBLE.
Now, go out there and chase your dreams today.
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