In my “very limited” experience as a runner, I have had the experience of needing to catch my second wind. I have had to do the self-talk of keeping my eye on the finish line, of telling myself that, “You can do it, Colleen. Just run to the next street sign, just run to the next water station, just run to the next light pole.” There is nothing quite like crossing the finish line, when my greatest fear is being carried home by Draper Police in a squad car. Motherhood also has its “self-talk” moments. A few days ago, Katelyn was hit with a sudden attack of the stomach flu and I was hit with a sudden need to quickly find the carpet shampooer. As I looked at her dinner, spread all over the carpet, I just wasn’t sure if I had it in me to continue the motherhood marathon. Some days, facing a mountain of laundry, I have to tell myself “just one more load--you can do it-just one more load.” Some nights, facing my hundredth sixth grade book report--I must motivate myself--”Just one more trip to All-A-Dollar for poster board, come on Colleen, you have it in you.” And right now, with eleven classes behind me and one more to go, the self-talk has had to be rather stern, “Just one more book, you can make it, just turn the page.”
I am so glad that I have my summer running memories and the lessons learned on the Porter Rockwell trail to remind me that I can “finish the race that is set before me.” I am thankful for sisters who have been there to cheer me on. I am thankful to daughters who have believed in me. I am thankful for neighbors who have manned the water stations along the way. I am thankful that there is always a T-shirt to be had at the end of every race. I am thankful for Rudyard Kipling who said, “If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew,To serve your turn long after they are gone--then yours is the earth and everything in it...” But mostly, I am thankful for that large box of truffles I have hidden in the back of my closet--that makes every race--and every book just a little bit more bearable!