I had dreamt half my life about competing at an Olympics, representing my country and winning a medal.
So it was pretty incredible when that dream became reality.
I think in the beginning we all pursue our dreams for the end goal, the win, the personal best or the medal.
But our 2010 Olympic run in Vancouver taught me to pursue my dreams for the journey and not the end goal.
And the day we stood on the podium to receive our silver medals the realization hit me, this had never been about the medal – it had been about the journey. It had been about recognizing those moments along the way… that are life altering.
And although there was no podium finish for me in the Scotiabank Marathon, there were some great moments on the way to that finish line.
The day before I was to run my very first marathon, I met a girl that gave me some amazing advice – advice that didn’t sink in until my race began.
She said “Run the first 1/3 of the race with your body, the second 1/3 of the race with your heart and the last 1/3 with your mind.”
The vibe and the excitement of the day carries you through the first 30 km.
That was the body part.
The one thing I told everyone was that I don’t think I could ever have just run this marathon for myself, I had to run for something more important, more meaningful than my personal best time. So I ran for World Vision. That was the heart part.
Surely if a 5 year old child in a third world country can walk 7-8 km each way for fresh water daily, I can finish a 42 km race. And that thought propelled me through the longest 12 km of my life.
I also thought about all the individuals that had joined our team, taken time out of their lives to make a difference. Carolyn Darbyshire our Olympic teammate ran her first 1/2 marathon for World Vision. Susan O’Connor our Olympic third ran the 10k for World Vision. And Angie Shilliday, Mrs Canada 2014 came on board and ran the 1/2 marathon. That was the mental part.
I also thought about all the individuals that believed in me enough to donate to our team and support a great charity.
So as all of us crossed that finish line Sunday – I hope we thought of our journey……….The people we had met, the new relationships we had developed , the things we had learned about ourselves, the people we had influenced…and the great thing we had done to help others.
Those things are so much more valuable than any medal!