K. V. Switzer (l.) and yours truly (r.)!
That history-making day in Boston in 1967 changed Kathrine Switzer's life... and it lead to changes in the lives of millions of women around the world. (It still boggles the mind that, in my lifetime, women were not allowed to run marathons!) Today, her impact reaches well beyond the world of running. And yet, with all that greatness and life experience to choose from, her sharing on gratitude tells of her humility. Of her values. Of who she is when the spotlight turns away.
And that is what inspires me the most.
Thank you, Kathrine. Here's to the next chapter: for you, the Story of 261-Fearless... and for me, my first marathon in 2014.
Yes, the marathon awaits.
What am I most grateful for?
I think most people would be surprised and how I, a history-making marathon runner, would answer this question. For sure, I am grateful for excellent health, good running, a great family, wonderful friends and a dynamic life, even if it is, at times, over-stressful. And I am extremely grateful that I was able to experience an unsettling and negative thing early in my life—when the race director of the Boston Marathon physically attacked me mid-stride in the 1967 competition and tried to throw me out of the race because I was a girl (the Boston Marathon was a men’s only event then)—and instead turn it into a positive force that has changed women’s lives everywhere.
However, all of those things would not feel so wonderful and so complete without the love I have for, and receive back from, my husband Roger. I know, because I was married twice before. I had given up on thinking an egalitarian kind of love was possible. I wasn’t sure when Roger and I agreed to marry, either, but I decided to give myself over to the total risk of love, to completely abandon myself to it. As it turns out, that is what it takes. It was hugely scary, like throwing yourself off a cliff. And it worked. In our marriage, we strive for a lack of dominance. We try very hard to make things equal; not only in terms of money or household tasks, but in supporting and taking each other’s work and emotions seriously. I think in 25 years of marriage, we’ve had maybe two arguments! Every day the love grows. I definitely am most grateful for this amazing love; it is the hub around which my life revolves.