I could see the finish line. Rounding the corner, my mind flooded with thoughts. The first, of course, that I knew I was finally going to make it.
I had trained long and hard, but that was no guarantee that I would finish. I’d dreamed of this for so long. In high school I was the scrawny kid, not athletic at all. Too tall, too thin. Everybody called me “String bean,” well, the ones who called me anything to my face.
I was a writer even then, computer nerds got more respect than a writer, even punks got more respect than a writer! I was invisible. Kids I’d been in class with for years didn’t recognize me when we met on the street. After publishing four books I’d gained some fame there, but it still irked me that I was so un-athletic. Finally, I’d decided to train for the marathon, just to get this out of my system. I didn’t need a gold medal, I just needed to know I could do it.
As I made my way up the street, I wasn’t even in a hurry. I wanted to savor every step, imprint it all in my memory so I could pull it back out whenever I needed it. I wanted to be able to use this over and over in my future writing. Finally accomplishing a goal after years of effort!
Suddenly the light at the table went out! “Hey!!” I yelled, “Wait for me!” The light popped back on, and the three people at the table laughed, then cheered, clapping as I crossed the finish line.
I made it! Eleven hours and fifteen minutes, number five sixty-two out of five hundred and seventy-three runners, walking the last eight plus miles, yes ... but I’d finished!