I did the Detroit Marathon yesterday.
Now I hurt. My legs are sore. My feet feel like they have bone spurs at all the wrong places. I have a sunburn. My hands are red and wounded, my fingers are bleeding.
But it was all worth it. Because yesterday my daughter April actually RAN in the marathon, finished in just over five hours, and although she is stiff, she is probably less immobilized than her father, who only walked enough to find a place to set up his folding chair so he could see her run by a few times. April ran 26.2 miles. I putted around Detroit, probably racking up a mile or two, and I'm in pain. What's wrong with this picture?
My hands are a mess because of the clapping. Linda, Jon, and I clapped hard for April everytime we saw her run by. We also yelled, screamed, and Linda passed bananas along like relay batons. But before and after April swept past, there were other nameless runners in various stages of utter fatigue, running their hearts out, some quite literally, and we offered encouragement. It was the most fun I've had in a while.
There are so many lessons here; you'll probably hear them in a sermon or read them in an article, so I won't go into the details. But if you ever get a chance, go stand on the sidelines of a marathon some morning. Go with the express purpose of cheering some runner on to the finish line. See if it doesn't just make your day.
And a word for my daughter: You are simply amazing. I honor your committment and determination and endurance and stubborn will to see a thing through and turn around and say, "See? I did it!" Way to go, Ape.