It was to be her second official 10K race and as she took her mark at the starting line of the 6.2 mile journey I hugged her, gave her a high five and quickly rushed up the racecourse to briefly catch a few photos as she would soon be running by. Gathered around her several friends, a few acquaintances and a massive amount of strangers all in pursuit of the same goal… to finish.
At 7 AM sharp the race began and she passed me with a wave of confidence as she was absorbed into the massive human wave of excitement. I quickly rushed to my car so I could get to the finish line, run backwards on the course and hopefully meet her halfway. It took only 10 minutes for me to park the car and hit the street running, knowing that inevitably we would be reunited and I could help pace her to the finish.
Running up the racecourse, opposite the runners, I felt like a salmon swimming upstream. Although I was not in the middle of the racers, having to look at each individual face to be sure that I did not pass my runner was the daunting task. It was difficult to say the least. During the second mile my focus had to be more attentive so as to not miss her.
It got me to thinking how many times in recovery have we been running away from a relationship, away from a struggle, away from the pain of the past or even away from responsibility? I also pondered how different our experiences were going to be when we met, her still trying to complete her goal of finishing the 10k and me pacing her without pushing her too hard.
There are many times in early sobriety that the relationships we are in also are in need of recovery. Inevitably one individual will move faster or more efficient than the other. Each person’s recovery speed is different, each goal for recovery different and therefore great harm can come if one member in the relationship attempts to rush the other through.
As this was to be her experience I knew that simple motivational pushes would be more appropriate than to aggressively force her to pick up her speed. Alas after submitting a significant hill our eyes connected and I quickly joined her in the race. I was proud that she had made it this far on her own and even more so that I was able to run beside her. I noted that she was keeping a good pace and not wanting to kill her mojo I adapted to it. As we exchanged positive affirmations we were joined by another athlete and I realized that harmoniously and quite naturally we had both picked up our speed. The natural rhythm of pacing one another until equalized and balanced, establishes a united goal. I thought to myself , this is how all relationships should be. Giving and taking ever so slightly so that fatigue is held at bay and goals are more likely to be obtained. She crossed the finish line breaking an old record, beating the goal she had set and solidifying herself as a finisher.
Running to something whether it be sobriety, relationships, accountability and happiness is much more valuable than running away from anything. To meet in the middle and adjust so that both in a relationship can share success is the key to unity. Yet, the value in the words, “Thank You” she gave me meant more than the finishers metal hanging around her neck.
Take account of who and what we should be running toward and focus less on things we are running from.
Marissa, You Are A Champion…