Dead F*cking Last

IMG_26785 for CHOP Run – Philadelphia, PA – 5.21.2016

One of my worst fears came true today.

I finished last in a race.

Not last as in “back-of-the-pack” last.

The Philly Fire Department paramedics were stalking me with their ATV — last.

The geese on the trail were out-pacing me — last.

Last two feet over the Finish line — last.

I am-going-to-throw-in-the-towel-and-quit — last.


Dead. Fucking. Last.

Thinking about it one Bloody Mary, one beer, and several hours later, though, I am A-ok with that.

My anxiety failed to convince me that I wasn’t worthy of finishing. For the first time in life, my body is overriding the self-doubt and self-deprecation and my legs are carrying me; propelling me forward like the coupling rods on a locomotive, further and further. I am actually almost glad that it happened so that I could stop agonizing over the some-day possibility, dust myself off, and say “so what!?”

As trite as it sounds, I feel that I am a winner. I am never going to “win” any race I enter but I am slowly conquering that part of me that refused to even make an attempt.

“A winner is just a loser who tried one more time.” (George M. Moore, Jr.)

I am glad that I have kept trying. That even though my original goal was weight loss, that I have not let a scale dictate my accomplishments, that I have exceeded the meager expectations I set for myself, and that I continue to seek the life the exists outside of my comfort zone.

Every time my nerve denies me (which is often when you are stuck inside the insecure body of a 320lb person who just CAN NOT be you), I channel my inner Cheryl Strayed, remembering my favorite words from Emily Dickinson, and I go above my flippin’ nerve. Nothing I accomplish ever seems pretty (there were two Beauty Queens in this race – WITH tiaras) – it is sweaty and uncomfortable, skin chafes, my hair gets frizzy, and my thighs ache the next day. It gets done, though.

Dead Fucking Last will always trump D.N.F.

Did Not Finish.

{This experience also provided me with a rare moment of grace. Another race participant, whom I loosely know through the Philadelphia running community, re-entered the course AFTER he had finish his race to find me and run with me to the end so that I did not have to finish alone. I will always remember the instant, warm sense of comfort that comes when someone else reaches out to convey that “hey, you’re not alone in this”. I will strive to pay forward that kindness to someone who may find themselves in my shoes.}



14 thoughts on “Dead F*cking Last

  1. You faced your worst fear with grace and resilience. That is actually pretty incredible. Congrats for that seriously. Now you experienced the reality and can move on in your journey.

  2. I’m still on the couch reading about running! Girl you are way faster than me 🙂
    In fact you are faster than the majority of the planet!

  3. How does it go? DFL beats DNS. You started and you finished strong, with a smile, and with a new buddy. This is the running community! Congrats! Can’t wait to run together again chica!

  4. You are AWESOME! Really glad to have read this and more importantly, really glad you are being kind and supportive of yourrself! Keep on doing what you’re doing! You are KILLlNG it! Blessed to call you a friend!

  5. This is my first time reading your blog. Such a treat! I found you through the Fat Girl Running blog, and am so happy to have done so. I have memories of being the last person (pretty much always, for one year) in races on the cross country ski team in high school. As a fiercely competitive (internally) person, I had to work out ways to frame it. Your reflections on your own journey are so valuable and inspiring. Thank you.

    • Thanks for stopping by! I didn’t know I was connected with Mirna’s blog except for the time I linked her in a post. It’s really hard to learn to flip a perceived failure into a success but it’s getting easier and I’m intrigued by this new person I’m evolving into.

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