|My mom, Charlotte, around the time of the chicken-chasing episode.|
There are many enduring gifts my mother left me. One of my favorites is the image of her, chasing me around our small apartment pretending the dead chicken we were preparing was alive and flying (gross, but it still makes me smile). More life-changing than that chicken, perhaps, is the way she slyly convinced me to run a marathon, something I thought I'd never do.
A runner before having (non-running related) knee problems, she always encouraged my new-found love of the sport in my early twenties. After she spectated at the California International Marathon in December 2008, she asked if I'd thought of running a marathon. "Gosh, mom, why would I ever want to do that?" When I moved from 5ks and 10ks to the half marathon in March of 2009, she asked again. Again, I said no, and she left it alone. One weekend in October 2009, I ran a half marathon before visiting her in the hospital. Of course, she asked me if I was going to run a full, and of course I said no.
When 2010 came along, I was underwater and couldn't make my way up. In the summer, I realized I needed to find something to help me feel like my life mattered again. When I saw an email advertising a marathon training group, I heard her ask me again if I was going to run a marathon some day. And the rest is history.
Today, I'll give thanks to my mother for the gift of the marathon. Sometimes it makes it very difficult that I think of her when I run, but I'm always glad when I do.