You know the feeling. With miles separating you and the finish line, you hit a wall. A combination of dehydration, muscle fatigue, and oxygen debt combine to make each step a trial. Your once fluid stride is mechanical and forced. Each exhale carries a soft whimper pleading for more air. You are dying. Or at least it feels that way.
Well over halfway through the 2012 Ogden Marathon, two skeletons greeted passing runners with a morbid message. “You are not dead yet!!!” Were these skeletons trying to scare exhausted runners just before they entered the most beautiful part of the canyon? Or were they meant to inspire, and serve as a reminder that no matter how bad runners may be feeling, at least they are alive and living an adventure?
In her classic poem “The Dash,” Author Linda Ellis notes how the start and end dates of a person’s life are chiseled into tombstones with only a dash between them. But these two dates do not tell the story, it is the dash that speaks to how we lived our lives.
Likewise, in a race, there is a starting line and a finish line but it is what we do between those two points that really matters. The skeletons holding the ominous message about death serves as a reminder that there is still time before the finish. There is still time to live, to be courageous, to run, to chase down your dreams.
You know the feeling. As your body begs you to stop, or at least slow down, you dig deep and find the courage to keep placing one foot in front of the other. Determined not to meet your end before the end, or be finished before the finish, you continue moving forward with new resolve and determination. The Grim Reaper may be stalking you but he does not have your resolve. You will finish this race. You will re-affirm what everyone watching already knows. You are a runner and you are not dead yet!!!
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