In April 2014, Desiree Linden was on a challenging path towards healing from some serious foot and leg injuries and may not have imagined she’d win the Boston Marathon 4 years later. Even today, she talked (after the race) about “feeling horrible” and at mile 6 thought “no way, not my day,” and thought she’d eventually drop out. Until then, she decided to support a couple other female elite runners and help them along before dropping out. As she continued, she found herself in 3rd place and, although deciding to continue, the self-doubt persisted through the race until she was about 1 mile away from the finish.
I was moved by her story with a lot of it feeling relatable. I often feel that recovering from an emotional/spiritual/relational breakdown is a lot like running a marathon. Each mile looks and feels quite different and there’s a great deal of pain and unpredictability. Watching and being influenced by the other runners is part of it and can provide hope. Also, the range of cheering and support, from the sidelines, changes with each mile while some of the route feeling pretty lonesome. The poet Mary Karr says the deeper the breakdown the greater opportunity for a breakthrough.
“I may not be on the path I want to be on right now, but this one is offering some pretty nice alternative routes.” –Desiree Linden 2014
Congratulations to all those who ran in today's Boston Marathon! It was incredible to witness such high levels of vulnerability and perseverance on such a cold and rainy path.