Muted orange and red ribbons hover above the horizon, the sun not yet visible, as the soft morning light offers dim illumination to the bubbles and wrinkles of the dune-like clouds below.
At 36,000 feet, the pre-dawn expanse of sky provides reassurance for the task ahead.
As sure as the stressful pace of the past few days, the pending weekend offers respite from daily chores. Mid-flight, on the brink of race day, reflective memories flood the recesses in time as the spirit soars with possibility.
There are no comparisons to standing on the starting line for the marathon. Thousands gather with an unmatched energy, inspired by hope built on miles and many lonely miles stretching deep into the background.
It is there, among the mass of runners, you feel the magic.
It is in that moment when you know you’re part of something particularly special at the exact moment you are living it.
Most are not aware when those moments arrive; even fewer know how to seek them out.
Often, we are left to recall the good, after the fact, and cling to the memory.
But the marathon transcends time — where past, present and future fold into one another in a rare phenomenon.
Be who you want to be. We all make choices, consciously or not, and those decisions are born out each day.
When all is well, the long distance runner makes choices for three or four months, subjecting the body to daily regimens and discomfort, to recapture the exhilaration of three to four hours.
This constant state of training brings purpose and focus to this identity. By embracing it, one begins to better understand the interconnectivity of life and the world.