The 1982 Boston Marathon was headlined as “The Greatest Boston Marathon” because of two American runners who went at each other’s heels for the entire 26.2 miles, ending in the narrowest margin of victory in the history of the race. It was so close but in the end there was one winner. Alberto Salazar beat Dick Beardsley by a margin of 2 seconds. Beardsley was once asked, “For 26 miles, how can you not run faster by 2 seconds?”
All of us have experienced defeat of some sort. Not just in running. No one can avoid them anywhere. Somehow there is a defeat for everyone.
I have my own share of plethora of defeats in life; many of them I have overcome; but a few still remind me the feeling of loss. The first one happened 30 years ago. I was a high school senior competing for a college scholarship via a qualifying examination and interview. Of the 5 selected in our high school to compete, I was the only one who did not make it. The second defeat happened only 2 years ago. I stood by my wife as she fought breast cancer, especially the last 5 years of her 11 year battle. It was my fight as much as it was hers. I prayed to God to defeat her illness; but we lost.
I still bear these defeats today not so much for the pain as it is for the loss I feel. I have since resumed with my life after my losses but I know something is still lacking. I am like music that lost its melody; like sunshine that lost its warmth. I’m like a lover that lost its heart; like a runner that lost its motion.
This year, when I started to take a new path and experienced fear and doubt, old memories echo what I've lost in my past defeats – my faith in God. I am unable to see my present joys and victories .
However, take solace. There is something magnanimous about defeats. It is not all about loss; for God loves losers as much as victors. So, to my dear readers, even when both praying and running are hard to do now, I will keep moving on with hope. In due time, I will be able to fully appreciate God's special gift to me.