I am training for my first marathon. Interestingly, I am, by no stretch of the imagination, an athlete. I’m not competitive. I have very little free time between school and work. And in the free time that I do have, I would much rather be cooking then heading out for 15 mile runs.
Why did I sign up for a marathon, then? I needed a win. I have been in limbo trying to figure out exactly what I want to do with my life. Being a graduate student working as a nanny pays the bills, but doesn’t exactly aid in the process of self-discovery. It feels like all of my efforts these days are aimed at helping my future self, but leave my current self worn-down and overwhelmed.
After a few months of internal conflict, I decided to take action to get myself out of this “funk.” I needed something that would provide me with the satisfaction of seeing improvement over a relatively short period of time. Then it dawned on me. I needed to sign up for a race. However, the desire to cross a finish line wasn’t enough motivation to power me through 6 a.m. workouts in freezing temperatures. I needed some more inspiration.
After some thought, I decided to raise money for suicide awareness. When I was eight-years-old, my father committed suicide. Even now, sixteen years later, I find it difficult talk about suicide and how it is has impacted my life. However, I realize that it is important to be open about our struggles. Suicide is scary. But it must be addressed in order to prevent it.
I grew up with a mother who used running as a natural anti-depressant. She found solace in each stride as she worked through the toughest years of her life. I followed in her footsteps. We both run as a form of therapy. I signed up for the Berkshire Memorial Day Marathon to show my mother that she is the reason that I am the person I am today. This race will commemorate my father, Peter Weinstein, and honor the woman who taught me the healing powers of running.
Fast forward to today. I am just over halfway through training, and only six weeks away from that win that I’ve been craving. Thankfully, I’m not in this alone. I’ll be running the Berkshire Marathon with my sister (Eva), my roommate (Sarah), and my cousin (Kaleen). My mom and brother will also join us on the course.
Running this marathon really makes no logical sense. I have no free time, Boston weather has been remarkably unforgiving this year, and there are much more “important” things that I could be focusing on. However this experience has taught me that the most beneficial things in life are often the most impractical.
I want to thank Dempsey for inspiring me to race. This website has been around for almost one year now, and I cannot thank you enough for allowing me a part of it! I hope that my story will inspire some of you “non-athletes” to sign up for a race—a 5k, 10k, or maybe even a marathon. Whether you are a diehard, competition-obsessed athlete like Dempsey, or a weekend warrior simply looking for an endorphin kick like myself, choose to step out of your comfort zone and you will see all that you are capable of!