So yesterday I pried my eyes open (sleep hangover from partying out on Saturday) and boarded the 6 AM train to the city. The train was surprisingly packed, with enthusiastic family members and friends and volunteers on their way to cheer their loved ones running in the marathon. As I walked out of the station, I was astonished to see the crowds lined up by the streets to see the runners! Its an amazing emotion when so many people come together to celebrate a common event. I stood with hundreds as the elite runners zoomed past...For a second I thought I had just imagined them running as they sped by so fast!! I dont know how some one can run 26.2 miles in 2 hours 5 minutes, its ridiculously unbelievable, especially when I wasnt even done running my half marathon in that time.
Before the elite runners the wheel chair athletes went by. I literally choked and couldnt hold back my tears. The awesome men and women, who could so easily have sat around and felt sorry for themselves, but instead they were here, in freezing temperatures, participating in the Chicago marathon. I felt ashamed of standing on my two feet stressing over stupid things in life. Clearly we do not stop and think about what we have as opposed to what we don't.
The volunteering bit was good too, it was my first experience at volunteering for an event and I walked away with 2 thoughts. I have to establish boundaries, if I wanted to help out for X hours and then head back home, then I should stick to it, make it clear from the upfront and not regret later on being sucked into helping out more and more; there is no limit to how much you can do. Also secondly when you are volunteering you do not think about returns on investment, you do not think about appreciation or whether someone will credit you for what you did. You just do it. In a way you do do it for yourself, to give a sense of satisfaction for having done something for someone else completely selflessly. Thats a good feeling to have.
There was also a 69 year old man who successfully finished the marathon!! Amazing people, inspirational stories, I walked away from my day with a high; a runner's high without running...