It was the last mile and I pushed through it, and that is probably one of the most significant decisions I have ever made. My hips ached and I could feel blisters forming on my feet. I paused for just a moment and hunched over, then got right back up and kept going. The blue arch at the finish appeared to be closer but good heavens, it still seemed so far away.
Then the crowds appeared, and to my left I heard Kenzie and Marina’s voices shrieking my name with the most impressive early-morning energy they could have possibly mustered (it was incredible). And then I crossed the finish line and, as evidenced by the above photo, I was deliriously happy about it.
I ran further than I ever had at a quicker pace than I had ever maintained.
Yesterday, in the defeat of basically a week of various anxieties, I determined that if I could wake up on time (which probably accounted for half of my nervousness on that particular day) and finish this 10K, I could do anything.
Lo and behold, I can now do anything.
I remember my mission president and his wife telling the missionaries repeatedly, “You can do hard things!” I’m pretty sure they even gave us little cards with that phrase to hang in our apartments as reminders. Out of everything, it was what they wanted us to remember the most. But there’s a difference in hearing such a phrase and living it. Three years ago, I was probably somewhere in between hearing it and living it. Over the past couple years—and predominantly over the past year specifically—this idea has become a living, growing, vital part of me.
I can do hard things!
I can love fully, be let down, and be okay. I can fail time and time again, and keep enduring. I can be hurt, and I can get over it. I can push my body harder than I thought I could, and I can keep going strong.
I can do hard things, and I’m already dreaming up what’s next!