Editor's Note: Stephanie Ingram received a cardiac pacemaker in April of 2017. The following was written upon completion of the 2017 CNO Financial Indianapolis Monumental Half Marathon.
“Trust your pacemaker. Trust your pacemaker. Trust your pacemaker." I was so petrified this morning!!! As I stood in the starting corral I could hardly catch my breath. I had flashbacks of other times I have been running, bad runs that I passed out in, and that my chest and head hurt so bad during them. I thought about all the times that a run ended with me on the ground- unconscious. Waking up with dirt or mud or scratches or bruises or blood or throw up (Eww, you're welcome) on me. Fear of failure was at its prime this morning!! What in the world am I doing here?! Is 6 months out too soon?!
I looked around and saw strong, fit, prepared, confident runners.... And then there's frumpy me, and all the sudden I felt foolish in my black shirt with a heart and pacemaker on the front and the word PACEMAKER on the back. It was time to run but I was sure that my legs were glued to the ground.
The first mile was torture (and I thought about faking my own death) but then realized I couldn't because my watch would show a beating heart.... I got to the 1 mile mark and ached to see the time on my watch. Slow!!!!!! I stopped, cried, and prayed.
Then I remembered my why. I wasn't there to compete with these people, I wasn't there to impress anyone, I definitely was not there to be unhappy about my body. I immediately switched my Garmin so that the screen that I saw only showed my heart rate. And, I started to run again.....Deep breath in, "trust your pacemaker", deep breath out, "trust your pacemaker".
Then my mind went still and quiet, and my legs took over, each delicious mile slipped by and I took the time to look around me at my fellow runners and look up at that sky that I have grown to adore. And Every time I looked down at my watch I had the physical proof that my battery powered heart was still working. Beat by beat I watched and step by step that battery and I got closer to the finish line. This old but new again heart- Still supporting me in this old but new again love of mine.
By the end of these endearing 13.1 miles, my mantra had changed though... Trust the Peacemaker. Trust the Peacemaker. The God who weeps with us, He will always pace us perfectly!”
People just like you...doing monumental things.