The Marathon Mission is Born

The Marathon Mission is Born
It was 4:30 am, and as I stared down at my water boots with my usual cold, blank expression, I began to feel the burning, all-encompassing sorrow of existence start to course through my heart once again. I had been working with my cousin on the crab boat for a couple of months now and was barely hanging on to any shred of remaining sanity. I knew that once I put on these water boots, I was soon going to see the light from my cousin's headlights shine through the window as he'd pull up in his truck for work. I knew that after I slipped on my hoodie and gloves, I was going to have to walk outside, climb in the passenger seat, and force out a "good morning". I knew that I was going to have to ride with him to his house while I stared out the window expressionless, thinking about all my friends back home and how I may never see them again. I knew that once we arrived at his house, I was going to have to load up the boat with wet and cold crab traps and then ride in lonely awkward silence to the ramp where we'd put the boat in the water. I knew I was going to have to stand in one spot for 8-9 hours sorting out those smelly crabs. I knew I was going to have to feel the gnats from the marsh cover my skin while the crabs pinched my fingernails through the gloves. I knew I was going to have to listen to my cousin's orders and not be able to verbally respond with any inkling of confidence. I knew I was going to have to stare out into the water, missing my old life, missing my friends, and missing my old self. I knew I was going to have to ride back to his house in more awkward silence while I played games on my phone for distraction. I knew I was going to have to sweep up and hose all the crab shells and guts off the boat. I knew I was going to have to do all of this for a measly $50, and I knew I was going to have to do it while depressed in withdrawal for a long, long time.
As I stared down at my water boots knowing I was going to have to do all of this, I reached into my pocket, pulled out my phone, went on Youtube, and keyed in "Why shouldn't I kill myself?" and began to browse through the selection of videos. There was a video of a man doing spoken word about suicide, and a few sad songs about depression, none of which particularly moved me. But I then keyed in "motivational videos" and something interesting happened. I came across a 4:33 clip called "I CAN DO IT". I instantly clicked on it and it began to show footage of UFC champion Connor McGregor wrapping his hands, getting prepared to train while music played and the narrator said "So many people out there fail, not because they don't have the ability, but because they don't have the heart to go through adversity." What followed was a compilation of athletes training hard while different speakers spoke with motivational music playing in the background. As each speaker enthusiastically described the power of grit and how we should embrace our struggles, I began to look in the mirror and with new resolve. I felt a fire beginning to spread in my gut. It was inspiration mixed with anger mixed with raw determination to face another day. I was NOT going to kill myself. I was NOT going to let this evil drug win. I was NOT going to let this sadness bury me. I would crawl through the agony if necessary. I would look the devil in his eye and tell him "you..cannot...kill...me. I am HERE to stay. I simply CAN NOT and WILL NOT be broken.
Work that day was still miserable and I was still in an incredible amount of emotional angst for every second of it, but I was keeping my heart on the prize. I envisioned the day when my mind and soul would be fully healed and I would be able to victoriously rejoin my friends back home with joy and laughter. As nausea and panic consumed my being, I would envision the handshakes, the smiles, and hugs i would experience once again. Not only was I going to survive this nightmare, i was going to accomplish goals while in the process. I had always admired people who looked their adversity in the face and embraced it head on. The stories I've always enjoyed the most were the ones where someone came from absolutely nothing and rose to greatness, out of their despair. Yes. THIS is how I was going to approach this seemingly impossible road ahead of me. I decided I was going to fill my mind with as many motivational videos as I could and study the mindsets of highly successful people who made it out of their daunting trials and tribulations. I was going to turn this pain into purpose...but how? I couldn't talk. I couldn't even walk into a grocery store without having a massive panic attack. I was literally stuck out in the middle of the country with my dad and had no car or any way of going anywhere. What could I possibly accomplish?
I looked outside the window at the 0.6 mile stretch of road connecting from our house to my Aunt's and Uncles...and then it hit me...I was going to run a marathon.