Originally published September 6, 2016, on Jepsonfiles.com
Today, I did something that I never thought that I’d be able to accomplish. My dad and mom always encourage me to push myself to do things that are hard and that will take much effort. So, my dad and I decided that we were going to run a half-marathon. We have been training for it all summer and today was race day. We got up really early and headed to downtown Colorado Springs. The race was at a park called America the Beautiful Park and it has a great view of Pikes Peak, the mountain that inspired that song. I was quite nervous and didn’t get much sleep last night. But, I knew that we were ready. All summer, we have been working our way up to longer and longer runs and we already had done an 11-miler, so I knew we could do another two miles. So, I decided that I was going to try to enjoy it and “run with joy”, like my dad always tells me. The gun sounded and we were off. Could I actually run that far? We started running and my dad looked over at me and smiled. That is when I relaxed and just settled in. The run was actually enjoyable. There were lots of people giving me encouragement and also the water stations every couple of miles really helped. I almost forgot that it was supposed to be hard. But, at the end, I remembered. My legs were definitely feeling it and I was ready to be done, for sure. Soon, I saw the 12-mile marker and I knew that it was almost over. My dad said to listen for the cheers of the crowd and to wear a big smile because we were almost done. As we came around the bend and crossed over the river, I could see my mom smiling and cheering for me. That made me so happy and I was so proud of myself for doing my best. We crossed the finish line at 2:00 even. This was a good time for us. Better than we expected. It felt so good to have set out on this journey and to have made a challenging goal and then to have accomplished it with style. It helps me to realize that even though I have autism, I can still do things that are hard if I set my mind to it. A great day!