Written by Tess Dooley
Edited by Corinne Hennessey
Every single step, each and every day- whether it’s on the pavement, treadmill, grass, or track- I take with great thanks. My running path has led me to far greater experiences than I ever dreamed imaginable. My hard work, determination, success, and overall journey would have never been possible if it weren’t for so many people, places, voices, and words.
It could be so easy to sit here and give myself full credit for how far I have come as an athlete, and although I know I have put in a great amount effort to be where I am, I truly wouldn’t be without help. I honestly cannot count the amount of times that a “thank you” has been deserving, a hug has not been wanted, and a smile did not come across my face. For the past three years, I have been encouraged and motivated by the people around me, the experiences I have been through, and the other journey’s I have been able to follow. Thank you does not even begin to cover the gratitude I feel.
I thank each race I have been in and the courses that have challenged me, carried me, and been with me literally the entire way.
I thank the sidewalks in my hometown for giving the me the stepping stones to get out there each day and grind until I can’t anymore.
I thank the snow plows, shovelers, footprints, and sun that have shaped my trail through the cold white winter days that made running seem inpossible.
I thank my neighbors, community, and fellow runners who pass by me and don’t even realize the motivation they have on me to never give up and to make them proud.
I thank the ocean I am so lucky to run by that keeps my journey scenic, sensational, and breath taking.
I thank the libraries, corner stores, and porter podies that have made my long runs become possible with a bathroom break.
I thank the children, adults, and teams on the corner of Commonwealth Avenue to fuel my hydration on my final mile home.
I thank my Mizunos, ASICS, and Brooks for keeping my feet in check and my strides comfortable.
I thank the drivers who let me cross and the bikes that guided me through traffic.
I thank the friendly “hello’s” from the runners along the way and the alarming honks from the landscaping men driving the creepy trucks.
I thank each and every like and each and every comment on all of my posts relating to running. You may not know it, but that makes the journey feel even more special than it already is.
I thank the photographers taking my picture along the race course and for keeping me excited for the next mile that I get to pose for.
I thank my early morning alarm clock for the reminder that what I am getting up for has true meaning and reason behind it.
I thank the blog posts, Instagram feeds, and Facebook statuses from every single fellow runner out there. I thank you for your ideas, experiences, opportunities, and courage to relate the love and passion that we all feel so strongly for.
I thank each individual who has ever acknowledged my journey and for any encouraging words they have spoken out to me.
I thank the people standing behind me since day one.
I thank my brother and his fiancé for making me understand that there will always be a path you can take and that there can always be laughter along the way.
I thank my sister Tarin for her endless support, humor, and excitement for my endeavors and to share the journey and memories with me. I thank her for making me appreciate the sport I do and for teaching me to always get done with the most challenging tasks first.
I thank my sister Taylor for the most genuine, positive, and inspiring feedback when I feel down and out. I thank her for realizing just how much I can achieve and for being with me through every challenge, happiness, and emotion I overcome.
I thank my Dad for telling me I am his inspiration to get out and work hard on a run. I thank him for realizing just how much the sport has to offer. And I thank him for getting out in the world everyday and providing for his family. I thank him for his work ethic, determination and sensitivity that he taught me to conquer the world with. I thank him for busting his own butt off out on the roads and showing me that the sport can still be accomplished by someone his age, with his schedule, and his struggles with health.
Finally, I thank my mother for being the most devoted, loving, passionate, and determined human being I have ever met. I thank her for being the shoulder I have to lean on at the end of a tired day, the hand I can hold to know that things really will always be okay. I thank her for the hug that seems to mean the most, and the somehow brilliant mind that has never failed me on right and wrong. I thank her for making me realize the goals I can overcome and how unimportant it is to think what others may think of you. I thank both her and my dad for being by my side at every single finish line I have ever crossed and for being the sole reason why I sprint that much faster to the end.
Words just don’t seem to cut it when I realize just how thankful I am for the encounters I have had through my journey as a runner. Each time I step into the starting gate at a race I relish on every piece of my journey and let it soar me through the course all the way up to the end. The emotions that I feel as the line comes before me are all a capsule of how I have gotten to where I am currently.
I set every intention to go out on April 18, 2016 for the Boston Marathon and take with me all the thanks leading me there. I will soar through the 26.2 miles feeling lucky to be running the race of my dreams. Through every tear, smile, ache, pain, laugh, worry, and fear, I have realized the importance of the things around me. The Boston Marathon will be a race I will always remember and am so thankful to be a part of, but I know I could not have done this on my own. I am able to participate and run this because of everyone around me and the experiences I’ve gone through. From the very bottom of my heart, thank you.
Last but not least, a huge thank you to Tess for sharing her story, and for inspiring and encouraging us! With just thirteen days till the marathon, we’re getting very excited! Don’t forget to donate to help Tess reach her goal- donate here! Share the love with Tess: if she has inspired or encouraged you at any point throughout this series, let her know by liking this article and leave a comment!