In ten short days (which I know will fly by), I will run my second half marathon. This time, I get to run with my brother (last time we were in the same race, he was running a full trying to qualify for Boston and I was running a half) and one of my beautiful nieces. Training has been much better this time. But it’s a process. I realized as I took my last run today the race is the celebration (unless, that is, you are trying to qualify for one of those big races with a race) of all the hard work of training. Once race-day is here, what will be will be. We aren’t pushing for a particular time really – well, we said we weren’t but we did start kinda talking about it today – so there hasn’t been any pressure. Just have fun and finish. I will look at race-day that way…the culmination of training. In my mind, that’s what it’s about.
March for Babies day is much like training for a race. You put the time and effort in. You put yourself out there. Some days are easier than others. Some days, you don’t feel like asking anyone about donating. Some days, you’re rocking it. And then the event arrives. You’re surrounded by people who have been through what you’ve been through. There are hugs, laughter, and often tears. It is a day to celebrate. It is a day to remember. The walking doesn’t really matter..it is what lead you to that point which means the most.
As I was running today, these thoughts were going through my mind…the similarities. This analogy does not hold for my preemie. There is no “training” for being a micro-preemie. There is no race to be run at the end of a lot of hard work. His whole life is the hard work. He is, and always will be, running the race. He will fall. He will get back up again. He will have setbacks. He will take the lead. His finish is nowhere in sight. He fights on continually to overcome odds. He’s beaten so many of them, but who knows what is around the next corner? No, there is no event at the end for him. His feistiness, his refusal to give up….that pushes me every single day. When I’m training, when life just gets hard, I go back to those NICU days when he absolutely refused to give up. He fought on his terms, always. We would push him to achieve something, but he would always accomplish it in his time. He is still that way. His determination carries me when I think about giving up. I see that look on his face, that refusal to give in, the refusal to give up even when someone tells him he isn’t good enough….that makes me so proud to be his mom, and it makes me work harder.
I know during our race on May 5th, I will hit a wall mentally. I will want to stop running. And I know my beautiful boy will float through my mind. He unwillingness to give up or give in will push me on to the end. And he will be at the finish line. The hard work will be done, and the celebration will begin.