Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The North Face

It was March 2006 when I had first discovered "Runners World" magazine. I remember reading about Dean Karnazes and how he was going to run 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days. Dean is the spokesperson for The North Face, the Ultramarathon Man, and the world's fittest man. At that time my plan was to run a 50 miler but after reading on Dean (and talking with Jeremy) I decided to do a marathon.
In one of my previous posts I describe what it was like to run with Dean. It was my first blog and may sound crazy to others but it was the one of the best days of my life. It was also then that I decided to do all 50 states.
Fast forward 4 years. Here it is October 2010 and the time for me to run my 4th marathon is here. I was keeping up with Chicago marathon through Facebook. All the updates of runners and expected people to fill the course. All that was fascinating but one thing stuck out. Dean was going to be there! I immediately was brought back to that initial feeling I had when I experienced running with him. If you read the post you would have read that Dean was "Mayor of the road." He didn't hang out with the top runners at the front or pick and choose who to talk to. He talked to everyone. And when hypothermia hit me at mile 18, he was there. Trying to shield me from rain and eventually giving me his jacket, until I had to quit. That was the most memorable time of running. It was also the time that I was introduced to The North Face, I love that brand!
As we drove in to Chicago on Friday, I got word that Dean was going to be at The North Face store that night. But big cities and traffic determines your arrival and we didn't make it on time. I was told by a friend of mine that he would be at the expo the next day. And since everything has a purpose and I got to experience that.
We showed up at the expo at noon only to find out Dean would be there at 1:00-2:30. Jeremy and I looked at each other and said, "well, looks like we're waiting an hour." The volunteer showed us where to stand and as we arrived we noticed we were 1st in line. Maddy having a bored look on her face couldn't understand why I was so excited to see Dean. She patiently listened to me tell my story and she responds with, "I know mom. I saw him before." I had to laugh as I put myself in her shoes.
A guy came and stood behind us asking if we were in line for Dean. When we said yes he introduced himself to us and we talked for 45 minutes. It's amazing how when you start talking to fellow runners you are instantly family. Although this guy runs 2hr 45 min marathons, he was so welcoming and encouraging and interested in my story. I was able to share how God brought me from Lame to Leaping once again showing me my purpose.
The line began to get longer and my heart started to race. I get to reunite with the person who gave/gives me inspiration to go for my goal! With my map in my hand, I was ready for him to see my accomplishments and have him sign it!
"Hi!" he says as he pops out of nowhere. There he was. His running gear on, camelback in tact, and The North Face gear on-he had arrived. "Sorry I'm late. I had planned on running all the way here but I got lost. I see you guys are the first in line. How are you today?" he says. I had been rehearsing "who I was" in the mirror earlier that morning and finally got to say it. "My name is Wendy and I ran with you during your 50/50 plan in 2006. I am from Wichita and didn't get to finish with you due to hypothermia." He then hugs me and says, "YES! I remember! You poor thing! Wasn't that a brutal day! Did you see the video? Wow, the weather... Did you go on to do the marathon?" "I did. Here is my map. You inspired me to do all 50 states and I was wondering if you could sign it for me."-I nervously say. He looks over the map, takes a photo with me, hugs me again and says, "see you in a couple of states."

Something I learned from that experience is how excited I was to reunite with Dean after so long. I wanted to share my experiences with him and show what I had accomplished. It made me think of how God wants us to be that way with Him. We have so many experiences we could share with Him and rejoice with Him if we would get that hyped to reunite with Him. I don't do that enough. That experience showed me how I need to be excited to share those things with God too. I have to look up and forward in everything I do. I mean after all...God is The NORTH Face!

"I'm not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don't get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I've got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I'm off and running, and I'm not turning back."-Philippianss 3:12-14 The Message


Mr. Randy said...

Congrats on a great race Miss Wendy!

Lacy said...

Wendy, that's awesome. You remember how I skipped ahead in his book to read about you, right?!
So cool.
Okay that's 4 down and 46 to go. I'm so proud of you.