I did it! On Sunday, October 4, I ran the Portland Marathon. I’m SO HAPPY! I’ve written about the importance of a strong support system before, but I’ve never felt it the way I did on Sunday. I want to give a huge shout out to those guys near the top of the hill at mile 17 who screamed, “Go Melissa—you’re looking great!” I’m sure they will never know how much those words meant to me. And that man at mile 25 who told me I was “almost there”—thank you kind sir. My kids and my husband (that’s him in the red) met me along the course to cheer me on and trade off water bottles. Throughout the race, the support–from those I knew and those I didn’t–was phenomenal. But of course, it meant the most at those times when I thought I couldn’t keep it up and when the going was really tough. Those yells and chants and cheers not only fueled me, they reminded me what I had already done (25 miles!) and they shifted me out of any negativity that was starting to stir in my tired mind.
Which got me thinking…although support is such a helpful thing, we tend to resist reaching out for it at our lowest times. We feel embarrassed or uncomfortable. Like cleaning the house before the cleaning lady comes, I think many of us feel like we need to get our lives in order a little bit before we let anyone in. It’s a mistake that can really hold us back. So many women who contact me about coaching will tell me that it’s hard to share their situation–and a very big step to reach out. Acknowledging the struggle is a difficult step for most of us. But believe me, it’s the most powerful one. Because when we open up to getting help, we start to create the ability to draw on resources, motivation, perspective, wisdom, and energy that is so much bigger than we can provide ourselves.
Thank you to everyone who cheered me on, told me to keep going, and reminded me that I was strong. It mattered.