The Agony Of Defeat
Through the years of my writing this blog I've shared some painful experiences. Not all were painful but some were very much so. I found that putting things in writing were very healing to me and I got a sense of peace about issues that I didn't expect to otherwise have. So with that in mind, I'd like to share once again.
The issue is trivial, at best, in the grand scheme of things. I know that and I realize that. There are people that wake up everyday and have REAL battles to fight. Some fight cancer, sickness, poverty, loss of limb, loss of mind or loss of loved ones. And while we're talking about it, loss of spirit is no walk in the part either. So, with that in mind indulge me, if you will, with my sad song.
About a year ago I set out to walk a marathon. For those who may not know, that is a distance of 26.2 miles. I have for years dreamed of going to New Orleans and completing the New Orleans Rock and Roll Marathon. In 2010 my daughter and son-in-law completed this race in my honor and I wanted to reciprocate. In my mind it was also a way for me to claim a final victory over all the negative things that had ever happened there from my childhood.
So about last April my husband and I began a journey that would culminate on a cold/rainy/ foggy Sunday morning in New Orleans, February of this year.
After months and months of walking--walking in the heat--walking in the rain--walking in the cold, the day had finally arrived. The goal was very realistic--walk 26.2 miles in 7 hours. In the marathon world that is at a snails pace! Thankfully, my daughter was there to walk with me as I knew she would keep me on pace. I also knew that my husband at some point would walk ahead of me as he is faster.
Things started out pretty well. As best as can be expected I guess. No lofty goals for me except to finish. The temperature went from cold to hot pretty quickly. It tends to do that when your in constant movement.
Well somewhere between mile 4 and 5 things went south. Big time south! Simply put, I started pooping in my pants and could not stop pooping (sorry, there's no other way to explain). I could have handled one "accident" or even two, but this was an "accident" of volcanic proportions the likes of which I have never experienced.
By mile 10 my continual "accidents" had made it into my shoes. My pretty, hot pink, special race day, shoes! Thankfully, I was wearing long black pants. At that point I sat down on the curb of the street. I was done. I asked my daughter to see if she could get us a taxi back to the hotel. She could not. All the streets were closed on the race route. It was 4 miles back to the hotel and 3 miles to the Half Marathon finish line.
I didn't want to do a half marathon. That wasn't the plan. I had already done a half marathon and was here for a FULL marathon. Without much choice and with my daughter's encouragement, I got up and started walking toward the half marathon finish line. Who knows, it might stop, right?
Wrong. The "accidents" continued and continued. At about mile eleven I decided that if we could just find a water hose, my daughter could just hose me down, I would dry off from the heat of the day and still have a chance at completing the marathon. We happened upon a service station but as luck would have it they did not have a water hose. But...they did have gallon jugs of water.
Yep! We stood right there in that service station parking lot and my daughter poured 3 gallons of water down my pants, right there in front of our good Lord and everyone. What a sight we must have been to behold. My daughter said it was a real Steel Magnolia moment!
I wished I could say at this point things got better, but they didn't. The water made things messier and more uncomfortable than they already were under my clothes. If you know what I mean. And to top it all, I kept right on going in my britches. Mile 12 I knew there was no going on to finish a full marathon.
I hated it because I knew my daughter wanted me to continue. I knew my husband and other children would want me to continue and most of all I wanted to continue. But I could not. Not on this day.
This day would be the day I finished a Half Marathon...13.1 miles...covered in poop from waist down at 4 hours 12 minutes and 7 seconds.
And that dear friends was the agony of my defeat!
PS: My husband went on to complete the full marathon in 7 hours and 29 minutes.
"Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checked by failure...than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat." Theodore Roosevelt