BQ (not mine)

Another update on my friend Rebecca (the one shattered by a careless driver, who ran her first marathon). Turns out she didn’t just run her first marathon – she BQ’d (qualified for Boston Marathon)! And she qualified by a good margin.

Those of you who are runners understand what this means; some of you non-runners may not. The Boston Marathon is the only marathon in the U.S., aside from Olympic and certain championship races, which maintains qualifying times for entry. If you’re not fast enough, you don’t run. Qualifying times were reduced for 2013, making it even more difficult to qualify. A lot of runners work hard and run a lot of marathons trying to BQ.

I was astounded last night at dinner when Rebecca told me, rather sheepishly. She didn’t really have any expectations going into the race. Her knee hurt, but she just wanted to have fun. Her plan was to take it easy for the first 13 miles, and then race. But she just wanted to have fun. So she ran.

And she ran FAST!

Just one year from lying in a hospital bed, broken, body held together by metal scaffolding, Rebecca is a Boston Qualifier.

Now, there’s no doubt that she has natural talent – that illusive mix of DNA that creates the potential for greatness. There’s also the possibility that the way her bones and muscles healed actually helped – perhaps in a slightly different balance or gait. I remember her telling me that when as she struggled to walk, she discovered that running was actually easier. Maybe it was a slightly different angle of her pelvis or back, different muscle use, or just a quicker pace that made it a little less painful. So she chose to run whenever she could.

All the talent and natural abilities only get you in the door, though. Success comes from a lot of determination, and mostly, a lot of work. And Rebecca’s was hard work. And painful work. But she tried to focus on the joy – the plain joy of being able to move her body through the world – and she was determined.

I could not be more proud of this BQ if it were my own. Brava, Rebecca!

My problem now is, when we finally do get back out to run trails together, I won’t be able to keep up. I’ve got a lot of work to do.


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