It’s The Picture of Happiness month!
Today’s guest is Dr. Amy Greenamyer, she says:
This picture is of my medals from 3 full marathons and 8 half marathons. It makes me happy to look at these because of words that have echoed in my head since I was 11-years-old. As the middle school track coach cut me from the team on the second day of practice, he said, “You are too slow to be a sprinter, too short to jump, and can’t run worth a crap for any distance.” I gave up on ever being an athlete after that.
In late November 2006, my friend JJ suggested we run a marathon. I laughed at her. I told her I “couldn’t” run and had “proof” in the form of my former coach’s assessment. She laughed at me and told me to start training with her. Knowing my friend, resistance was futile. So, I started to train.
There were points in that first marathon, and in every race since, that I wanted to quit, puke, die or all three. But, JJ helped keep me going. My family and multitudes of strangers along the course helped me keep going. And, oddly enough, my track coach helped me keep going; I had to prove him wrong. Crossing the finish line was pure bliss! Everything on me hurt. My toenails later fell out. I smelled. But, in that final step over the line, I became a marathoner. An athlete.
Now I have a wall full of medals and feel the same delight and pride as I cross the finish line. I’m not fast—in order for my finish times to qualify for the Boston Marathon I’d have to be 90 years old. I walk sometimes, or a lot of the time, depending on the race. But I finish. And I smile every time I do.