Strength. It’s not a word I would normally use to describe myself. If you are talking about emotional strength, then I’d admit yes. Academic strength? Yup, that too. But physical strength – a few days ago I would have laughed in your face.

Today though, as I passed by 3.6 miles and was still going, one foot after the other in a steady motion, the word strength popped into my head. Maybe it was the rush of endorphins that made me wonder at how strong I am now; how capable I am of not only running but achieving the things I once thought out of my reach.

The truth is, at 2.8 or so, I was pretty down on myself. I wondered, seriously, if I was a fool for signing up for the 10K in the first place. I wanted to quit, head into the house and call it a mildly successful day. But as I approached the turning point in my route, something inside me turned too and the light went on.

I could feel the muscles in my calves stretching and tensing with each stride; my thighs pumped with power and strength and confident determination as I ran on until 4.6 miles were behind me and I smiled, not just with my eyes or my lips, but with my whole body. How different am I from the person I knew six months ago? How foreign is the girl I was at 25 or 29? Today I am strong, not only emotionally or academically but, yes, physically as well.

Tomorrow I anticipate a lot of doubt at 2.8 once again, but a lot of joy at 5.2 and in two weeks time I will kick this 10K’s ass with a great big smile on my face and a whole lot of power and strength behind it.


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