Here is the speech I gave at the final training run before the Oklahoma City Memorial marathon.
We all come to this marathon training for different reasons. We all get something different from it too. But the thing that makes this marathon special is that you might be running for yourself but here, in Oklahoma City you are also running to remember... To heal.... And most importantly for me, to celebrate. We remember those 168 mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, aunts, uncles, friends, people who lost their lives 21 years ago. We help those left behind to heal. But we also celebrate the lives that we still have. If we take away nothing else from the horrible tragedy, we should take away the fact that life is precious, and short. Those 168 lost lives paint the picture that screams "Celebrate your life" with bold bright colors! Celebrate what you have!
When you took your first steps with us 15 weeks ago, you did just that. You recaptured your life from the prison of everyday life and set yourself on a bold course. Very few people in the world attempt to run a marathon or a 1/2 marathon. You put into a select group who decided that something difficult was worth attempting. That mountain may be high but I'm going to climb it. In doing that, you are celebrating your life and honoring those 168 souls who, I'm sure, every year at this time are smiling down on us because they see us out there, living, sometimes suffering, but really experiencing all that life has to offer. I have to figure that if somehow they could come back, get a second chance at the life that was taken from them, they'd be right here with us. Doing those things that are hard, doing those things that awaken your soul or keep your soul awake by challenging it to new heights.
We run to remember and we run to heal. But remember to celebrate a little too. Have a great run next week, I hope it hurts like hell, I hope you laugh, cry, smile, curse, hurt, get a second wind, feel those great endorphins, and suffer horribly the week after. All those things are called being alive and I hope you don't cheat yourself out of any of them.
Thanks for listening.