Passing me on the left, I see the same glistening body that had already run past me several times on my sixteen mile training run. He, along with a couple of other runners, would consistently run faster than me, stop, rest, refuel, and then catch up to me once more; meanwhile, I might stop a few times to refill my water bottle, but stopping is not my preferred option while training.
Training for what? A marathon I began more than two years ago, when running for a charity called Team for Kids. Toward the end of a wonderful training season, I tripped on construction on the Queensboro Bridge and injured my left knee. After canceling a few runs, scaling back my training, and resting and recovering, I was ready to tackle my first marathon - until Hurricane Sandy came and blew away my chances. Instead of running that day, I decided to ride my bicycle to my church job... and my foot got caught while dismounting, and I shredded the same knee on the pavement.
So this - this is that deferred marathon to which I received guaranteed entry by raising funds for Team for Kids. As I think about my long runs and the fortitude it takes to train for one marathon twice over two years and two major injuries, I realize that this long haul attitude carries me through my life and career as well. Acting and singing fill my life with so much joy and fulfillment! I want only to keep going, slow and steady as others stop, take rests, and even give up the race.
As an actor, I have my incredible manager, Kathy Olsen at Encompass Arts, to keep me moving forward toward my career goals. Attending tonight's Art and Soul Acting book club gives me the fuel I need to keep going on a journey of exploring new and old material from inspiring playwrights. Perhaps most importantly, my accountability partner Christine Weatherup (happy birthday, Chrissie!) reminds me of the important tasks to tackle to make sure I'm at the pace I need to keep making good things happen.
One of my greatest inspirations is the actress Ellen Albertini Dow, who made things happen in her career even at ninety-five years old. Last I saw her, she was offering weed to grieving funeral goers on an episode of The New Girl. I love how feisty she is onscreen and off. Obstacles don't stop her from living her long life or pursuing a glorious career throughout it. Honestly, I don't know what I will do after the next marathon, or even the next gig sometimes. Regardless, I can promise you I will find ways to stay active and pursue performing until I die. So if you ever see someone passing me, don't worry. I'll catch up and never stop.