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.