Tomorrow is the big day! My Dylan will run in the Los Angeles Marathon! All year long he's been training for this. Shortly after school began last fall, he walked in the door one day and said, "Mom, I'm gonna run the L.A. Marathon!" And he wasn't kidding, though it hasn't been easy. He has had running three times a week, every week, since September. They started out slowly, but worked up to 4-6 miles on Mondays and Wednesdays, and long runs ranging from 10 to 22 miles on Saturdays. He's run in probably ten different races around the state during the year, and now the Big One is here! I have to have him fed and at the school by 3:30am (!!!) tomorrow morning.
All weekend long we've been supporting him by eating carbs. Carb loading, they call it. We're just trying to help him out. With pasta, more pasta, brownies, donuts, toast, oatmeal, more pasta. It's been grueling, I tell ya, but Dylan's worth it!
I could see his nerves on the surface tonight as he got ready for an early bedtime. I asked him if he'd like a blessing, and he readily agreed, so Adam gathered us around and gave him a sweet blessing of strength and comfort. There will be many lessons for him in this accomplishment, and not all of them will be physical. This experience will teach him important things, not the least of which will be that the run will not be easy, but that when his body wants to give up, his spirit will have the drive to keep on going. After his blessing, Dylan's face was covered in tears. I hugged him and assured him that none of us cared what his time was, and that he didn't need to feel any pressure. I told him all he had to do was finish, and that I was so proud of him. I asked him if he was afraid, and he said no. I asked him why the tears, and he said he just felt the Spirit so strongly. Oh, my boy! I encouraged him to take a few minutes and just make a quick journal entry of these tender feelings before running the marathon, so he would never forget them, which he did. My boy is growing into a man, with the spiritual sensitivity of a true giant. He towers over me, has to bend down to hug me, almost broke my ribs with his hug this morning, but he's still my boy forever. How I love him!
My little Dylan, who has always been running. Even when he learned to walk, he just ran. We would walk around the block, and Dylan would be running ahead of us. He just couldn't help it! And now he gets to participate in something big, something meaningful, and something difficult, that will test him and push him, and pay huge dividends physically and spiritually for all his training.
It's been a pleasure carb-loading with him. But from here on out, I'm afraid he's on his own. I'm great at donut and pasta eating, not so great at running. But we will be there at Mile 11 to cheer him on, and again at the Finish Line with huge hugs of congratulations and a job well done! He's earned it all the way.