I will never forget the first time I ran a 5k charity race. My friend and I ran it together. As we approached the finish line in the distance, supporters waved flags, a band played, people cheered and snapped photos. It set my feet on fire. My friend and I committed to giving it everything we had for that final stretch. I have never run with so much gusto in my life. I got the runner’s high, sweat poured, and my legs burned. I loved the energy from the crowd. I felt a huge sense of pride and accomplishment.
But when we got to the finish line we saw the sign. “CONGRATULATIONS!” it read in huge bold letters. Underneath, much smaller it read, “HALFWAY THERE!”
WHAT?!!?! That felt like a punch in the stomach. How could we keep going? I just gave it all I had. How did we not realise we weren’t done? Our sprint became a very laboured jog. Our enthusiasm waned.
Only Halfway There.
I thought about this today. I think I set my goal post at getting everything sold, donated, packed, and closed down in England, that I didn’t save any energy for the next leg of the journey. It felt like I was finished when I got on the plane with my one way ticket. But in fact, I only just started.
I have a few more hurdles I have to jump through and then I think I need to walk a bit. I feel alarmed because it seems like by the time all the logistics are sorted and we have a new normal, I am going to have a newborn baby that needs cuddling and feeding and nurturing—-for the next 18 years.
And so I feel a bit like I did when I read that sign that day: a bit gutted, exhausted, and tired.
On the day of the 5k, there was one silver lining. I had a friend beside me to finish the race with. Running or walking, it didn’t so much matter how fast we finished. It just mattered that we finished, and we did it together.
In the marathon I’m currently running, I have my amazing, endearing, capable and strong husband alongside me. Through prayers and the cheers of the crowds around us (our friends, family, colleagues and friendly strangers), we will finish strong . . . even if we walk a bit.