I called a friend of mine yesterday about the meltdowns I'm having right now with the race in 17 days. Even when we do something we love, some days just suck and I had vented about that yesterday.
So this friend had the best analogy. She said that the process of directing a race is like personally running a marathon.
My Finish Line: Race day, the happy runners, the smiles at the finish line.
Mile 1: Setting this race in motion for this year.
Mile 6: Wow, this is really real. Completely the feeling when I pulled the trigger on announcing the race and opening registration. In a marathon, around mile 6 is when I have the "I'm really doing this?!?" moment.
And right now, I'm at mile 24. And life sucks at mile 24. Even when you're prepared, which I know I am, in that moment of the race, you don't often feel very prepared for those final miles, and even if you're prepared, it hurts anyway.
You have your breakdowns that can happen at mile 24 of your marathon. Where you just need to cry sometimes. It doesn't mean you won't get to the finish line. And there's nothing wrong with having that breakdown. I shouldn't let anyone fault me for having the breakdown, because I'm human.
At mile 24, you aren't sure you want to run a marathon again. Why would you do this again? It's hard, it can be painful. It was an awful lot of work. Of course, most of us after the marathon sign up for another. So it's how we felt in the moment, not how we felt overall about the experience.
So right now, while life is a little rough, and I feel fragile like one more thing out of perfect position will shatter me, I remember that there's just 2 more miles to that finish line. And that feeling at the finish line is awesome.
So "Dear Diary", yeah, mile 24 is kinda not fun right now, and I need to not worry about anyone who feels I have no right to talk about that feeling. This is my blog, my party, I'll cry if I want to. And voicing those thoughts and getting them out into real words versus ucky undefined feelings, is what got me to a place where this friend could offer up the "race directing is like running a marathon" analogy. And it was so helpful I had to write it down. I'm sure I'll be referring to this again at future races I work on!