It's Wednesday night. On Sunday morning, I'll run a half marathon.
I'm nervous. It's not like it's something I've never done before (but it is - I haven't). It's not that I think I'm going to fail (I don't). I know I'm allowed to walk a tenth of a mile here and there if need absolutely be. But need, real need, won't be. I've run 10 miles before, and I know I can do another three on top of it. I know it'll hurt, and I'm prepared to deal with that. I know where to file away the "ouch" and the "tired".
I know which voice in my head to listen to. The one that says low and steady, "You are stronger than you think you are. You are ready and I'm proud of you and you can do this."
I just want to be there. I want to shiver in the early morning chill. I want to stretch my quads and touch my toes and line up my playlist. I want to hear the siren and take the first step. I want to feel the first two miles fall away and know I have another 4, easy, before I hit another wall and have to "easy", "breathe", "drop your shoulders", "look at the sky", "breathe", "breathe", "breathe in now", "breathe out NOW". I want to be in that moment when I remember the choice I've already made to run the whole way and choose again, when it hurts, to do it. I want to be a body moving, carrying a mind, sorting out the wrinkles in a soul. I want to taste what all this work is for. I want to be stunned at the finish line.
I want to be there.