Yesterday I had the extreme honor and privilege of escorting this bad ass across the finish line of the Chicago Marathon:
In her email a month ago, she said that asking me to run miles 18 through 25 was the runner’s equivalent of asking me to be her bridesmaid.
I took my responsibilities very seriously. I carefully prepared my outfit. I did my hair and makeup. I showed up at Ashland and Taylor and watched for her in the crowd. And I had a number of prepared and spontaneous speeches ready when her spirits flagged, some presented just as tearfully as a wedding toast might be.
As we approached the last 800km, the last 400km, I reminded her of how a year ago, she hadn’t finished any marathons, and that she was just minutes away from finishing her second. That this was far from the hardest thing she’s done this year, but that she was DOING IT. That she’d worked so hard to transform her body, but is working just as hard to transform herself, and to live her life, all of it. That I don’t know how I would have made it through the last year without her friendship and support.
And lots of other things, but with lots of expletives, and lots of yelling, and then we were past the point that they could pull me off the course, and the finish line was so close, and I yelled at her to give it everything she had left, and chased her to the finish line. She beat last year’s time by at least five minutes. But that is only one of many reasons why I’m incredibly proud of her, and incredibly proud to be her friend.