Sunday, June 22, 2008

To My Sister, With Love

Dear Devin:

With any endurance sport, there will always be variables which we cannot control.

Sometimes, our months of training can be flawless, perfect in every way, and bring us to race day with high hopes and a focused mind.

But these variables can sneak up – they can take a hold of our bodies when we least expect it, and they can quickly dash all those months of hard work.

Yesterday, you toed the line in Minnesota, hundreds of miles away from the comfort of our Chicago lakefront, with one goal in mind: Qualify for Boston.

You knew that, even though your hip problem continued to nag, and you woke up with a spasmed and knotted back, there was nothing that was going to stop you from crossing that finish line.

And while the first several miles went as planned, somewhere along the way, things stopped working. At some point in the race, your body stopped working for you, and instead started working against.

You vomited. You ached. You knotted. You twisted in pain.

But the thing is, Dev, you never quit. You could have – you could have pulled up to the curb, stretched your back, hit the medical tent, and gave a big middle finger to Grandma.

But you didn’t. You stayed in the race.

You stayed in even when you had to walk more than run.

You stayed in even when you knew that you would not qualify.

You stayed in even when the disappointment you felt choked you with sobs.

You stayed in even when you had miles and miles stretched ahead of you, and you simply couldn’t get your body to move any faster.

When I think about what you went through on that course yesterday, my heart and my eyes swell with pride.

The fortitude you have in your heart is indescribable – it is something that, in my darkest hours, I hope I can recall and emulate.

It doesn’t matter what time you crossed that line yesterday – you were already my inspiration, my pride, my hero, and my sister.

While almost ever runner at some point dreams of qualifying for Boston, few ever actually try. And for those that try, few succeed.

Not only did you have the courage to try, but you had the courage to try twice, and to stay in a race despite all odds.

Boston will be there for you one day, Dev.

And if I know you, you won’t stop trying until you get it.

Keep your chin up, Kid. You are tough as nails, and an inspiration to all of us.



Anonymous said...

thank you for writing that. I hope she hears it. - ellie

Comm's said...

I watched Rocky Balboa last night for first time, he had a great monologue to his son, summing up Rockys life and all the movies along with Real Life.

...nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard ya hit. It's about how hard you can get it and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done! Now if you know what you're worth then go out and get what you're worth. But ya gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain't where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody! Cowards do that and that ain't you! You're better than that!"

words to live by

Tri-Angle said...

I bet she already knows

Steve Stenzel said...

Not only that, but she finished in under 4 and a half! Way to stick it out, Devin!!! CONGRATS!!!!

Rachel said...

That was so touching. Your sister is one tough cookie. Tell her to keep her chin up! Sometimes it's just not our day.

Erin said...

That was so sweet of you. Made me melt thinking about my sister.

And Devin, days like those are beyond tough, but I'm sure you'll get it next time...and days like those are part of the reason why.

Anonymous said...

I hope my daughters love each other as much as I love you and dev. - ellie