MEDAL MEMORIES

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I’ve been doing a lot of spring cleaning lately and came across all of my marathon medals piled on the floor in the corner of a room.
So I decided to pick them up, dust them off, and put them around my neck again.
After 30+ years as a television journalist, people like talking to me about the business, my career path, and some of my favorite or proudest professional accomplishments.
I love those conversations!
But rarely do I get asked about my personal accomplishments, like what the hardware around my neck represent.
11 medals for the 11 marathons I’ve run.
That would be a big deal for anyone, but for me, it’s a monumental deal.
You see, I was never athletic as a child or teenager.
I started teaching group fitness classes from the late 80’s to just four years ago.
But I didn’t actually start running until I was 37-years-old!
I ran my first full marathon at 38.
By 39 I had qualified for – and finished – my first Boston Marathon.
I ran my fastest marathon at 42, and at 43 I ran my second – and fastest – Boston Marathon.
I ran my third Boston Marathon at 44, the same year I decided to stop running competitively.
I am so darn proud of these medals because they represent hard work. They represent discipline.
They are reminders that age is just a number, and that the mind (mind over miles) and the body can achieve more than we sometimes give it credit for.
Each time I took my mark in my corral at the Boston Marathon, and the announcer said, “Athletes get ready” – I cried.
I cried because at the age we refer to as middle-age, I had finally become an athlete.
I don’t run marathons anymore.
But I’m still committed to challenging my body in other ways, like hot yoga  and boxing.
Whatever your personal accomplishments – physical or otherwise – don’t be afraid to “wear” them proudly. And never, ever let age limit you from accomplishing any goal at any stage in life.

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