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M is for making it

As Maria has already written, and as you will guess from the title, M&MRC, Equipo 90 (and all the other names we are now known by!) have made it through the Cruce de los Andes. We have run, climbed, slid, stepped, walked, waded, ducked, rolled over, pounded, staggered, shuffled and run a bit more as if our lives depended on it to cross the line three days in a row and complete what I have to say has been the challenge of a lifetime, thus far.

It has been marvellous, magical and momentous. We have minged; we have mocked; and we have marvelled.

And we have made a mountain of memories.

As stories filter through on this blog over the next days/weeks/months/years/decades (you can be sure) I just wanted to pause a second and reflect on something we discussed yesterday and which came up again in conversation with my mum.

With grins a mile wide, tired eyes and quads which were aching for a massage, we sat on the bus leaving San Martín de los Andes on Monday. We remembered our worst five minutes of the race, we did impressions of those we had met and we generally distracted ourselves from the reality we were facing once it was all well and truly over.

At one point, I said: “I think this has been good for M and F (our boyfriends).”

“Why is that?” Maria replied.

“It will get them used to it, won’t it?”

The fact there was a laugh and a knowing smile instead of words told me all I needed to know.

For, now this challenge is over, there are expectations in other areas of our lives. Another two ‘M’s that like to be thrown at us: Marriage and Motherhood.

I ask myself, are they mutually exclusive? Surely not. We have met people from all over Latin America and beyond who were doing El Cruce 2012 and it was such a mixed bag: old couples, youngish friends, women pushing their boundaries while their teenage children waited for them at the finish line. We met men who train 6 days a week. And they have wives, ex-wives, children and jobs to deal with. But everyone agreed on one thing: the support of their family.

We have had amazing support from our families and friends, both near and far. And I think we’ve both realized that we’re going to have to ask for it time and again as live goes on and M&MRC throws itself at more challenges and feats.

These experiences become part of who you are: woman, wife, mother, employee, boss, runner, writer… whatever other labels you might have.

We have proved we can make it. Now we’ve got to prove we can make it work in our lives.