#8 and #22 (Marathon Sunday)
by Paul Semendinger
November 7, 2021
By the time you read this, I’ll be in New York City – Staten Island to be specific. I’ll be chilly, we all will. I’ll be eager and anxious, and while I’ll want to be full of energy, I’ll also be reserved and calm.
I’ll be together with tens of thousands of people, and alone at the same time.
At the religious services tent, I’ll be praying and preaching and sharing inspiration and good words.
I’ll then be just another face in the crowd, but each one of us, struggling alone and together, will be battling step-by-step pushing forward the way all athletes do.
Yes, by the time you read this I’ll be at the start of the New York City Marathon getting ready to run the big race.
This will be my 8th New York City Marathon and my 22nd marathon in total.
I love this day.
I love the New York City Marathon like no other race even though I have had better times (much better) in other races and some great experiences away from the big city as well.
I once flew through the streets of Chicago (3:25:16) and twice ran through the magical worlds of Disney. I ran Washington D.C., Philadelphia, the Jersey Shore, Baltimore, the Lehigh Valley, the Poconos…I even ran 26.2 miles on my treadmill a few times. I have loved every marathon experience, but no race, no race, gets me as fired up and excited and thrilled as the New York City Marathon.
I love New York and I love this race.
By the time you read this,. I’ll probably have started my race. I might be in Brooklyn or Queens or the Bronx or Manhattan… Central Park is just ahead. It’s there waiting for me…waiting for all of us.
I love this race so much that I have often said that the New York City Marathon is part of who I am. I live for this race and look forward to it every single year that I am fortunate to run it.
In January 2020, I had surgery on my Achilles to repair the tears that were there. These had hampered me for years.
I knew I’d run the marathon again, but sometimes that’s hard to believe in your hopes and dreams when your leg is all wrapped post surgery, you’re on crutches, and you can’t even walk.
I started running again on April 1, 2020. I did a lap of the track at a local high school. It took me four months to get back to being about to run a quarter-of-a mile.
Twelve days later, I pushed through to complete my first mile.
I hit two miles on May 1…
It’s been a slow, but steady progression ever since. Yes, there have also been setbacks. Pain, discomfort, worry.
I go to PT once a month. I also visit my chiropractor regularly. These experts have helped keep me healthy after the great work of my surgeon started this who process.
To get back to this point, I have exercised every single day, without fail, sometimes twice a day. I have been dedicated to getting back and building back my strength and abilities.
I have committed myself to getting back, to returning to become an older version of the runner I used to be.
It’s been a long haul.
It’s been hard.
It’s been painful.
But, it’s been great.
I’m back, ready, and hopeful.
The effort has been worth it.
The effort is always worth it.
My friends, if you have a goal, go for it. You can do it. You can. Set your mind on the task – and go for it.
I will not be easy. Nothing worth achieving is ever easy.
But you’ll be glad you did. You’ll be glad to be working toward a goal and you’ll glad when you reach that goal.
Today I’ll be running my favorite streets and living the dream again.
Yeah, I am Superman.
You are too. Find your dreams and work relentlessly toward them.
You can do more than you ever thought possible.
IMPOSSIBLE IS AN ILLUSION!