How Finishing A Footrace Can Be A Metaphor For Your Dream

The following two tabs change content below.

Catherine Hughes

Director of the 8 Women Dream Project at 8 Women Dream
Catherine’s dream is to make 8 Women Dream the premier online publication for women looking to pursue their dreams. She is a published author, a freelance writer, and a guide for those who want their dreams to come true online. Catherine would someday like to be invited to speak at TED about her observations about her 8WD project inviting women to take a chance on their dreams. Wine was required... Catherine posts on Sunday evenings and fills in dream stories as needed. If you aren't sure how to comment on this story, click here.

Latest posts by Catherine Hughes (see all)

I read somewhere that runners view running as a remedy.

They believe the psychological benefits of running far outweigh the physical demands. Running a marathon or footrace can be a challenge both mentally and physically.

Participating in an event like the San Francisco Bay to Breakers is not a normal thing to do (no f*ing kidding), and for those of us who took on this risk to go 7.6 miles today, the consequence of that risk has turned out to be very rewarding.

Successful dream achievement requires we do something many people wish they could do but don’t have the courage.

People who choose to take on their dreams regardless of the obstacles, show a certain measure of character strength many people only dream about (excuse the pun).

So today, four women and one husband power-walked the Bay To Breakers to honor Veronica’s dream.

We all knew this day was coming, but many of us didn’t train as much as we should have.

Last night as I drifted off to sleep, I wondered if I was going to be able to finish this commitment.

This was going to be the biggest test of my mental and physical endurance since I first got sick with Hashimotos Disease some years back. I wondered if I’d lost my mind.

Was it smart to push my body past the point of no return?

I decided to suspend my worries and resolve to do my best.

From the moment we stepped off our bus at the Bay 2 Breakers starting gate this morning and began experiencing the first round of flying tortillas, I knew this footrace was going to be like nothing I’d experienced since attending the Exotic Erotic Ball in my 20s.

In fact, much of it looked like the same Exotic Erotic Ball.

A play by play of today’s events are on the 8WD Does Bay To Breakers page.

At about mile 5 my body and mind began to talk back at me.


But instead of stopping, something funny happened. I began to look around for inspiration.

You didn’t have to look far at the Bay To Breakers. Between the costumes and naked runners, there’s plenty to make you smile.

Every time I thought of finding a chair to sit in, I found another group to look at, another costume to laugh at, or other people to commiserate with.

Each time I was able to subdue my mind and continue forward. I kept telling myself that I was going to finish the race, and the next thing I knew I was barefoot in the beer garden rubbing the bottom of my feet.

As exhausted as I am tonight (and this post may reflect this) something happened to me mentally because I finished the race.

I did something that I wasn’t all together sure I could do at this stage in my life and I didn’t listen to those voices in my head telling me to stop.

We calculated that we probably walked a total of 9 miles.

Holy crap!

Each time my body – or my mind wanted to give up today, I just turned my attention to something that made me smile and kept putting one foot in front of the other.

Before I knew it we had crossed the finish line.

Maybe that’s the metaphor for dreaming.

Do the thing you think you cannot do until your cross the finish line.

Fellow dreamers, I love you but I’ve got to go to bed before my head passes out on this keyboard.

What challenges can you overcome this week if you just put one foot in front of the other and refuse to give up?

Keep dreaming –


Catherine’s dream is to be a motivator and published writer. She is testing her theories on motivation with this blog and the seven other women who have volunteered to be a part of her dream project. Catherine also writes about her life as a mom at the blog A Week In The Life Of A Redhead. Someday, she would also like to be invited to speak at TED as the next Erma Bombeck. Catherine posts Sunday nights.

  • Remy, the photographer

    I cant believe I didn’t reply to this post Cath. Wait, I went home and ate peanut butter cookies and took a nap. Must have slipped my mind. Sorry – in between Mare Island and AMGen I was zonked.

    This was my first b2b and unless ya’ll need to do it again, it will probably be my only. I’m just too short to not be a magnet for things like tortillas, beer can tosses, and bubbles. A bit claustrophobic I must say.

    It was awesome to be a part of another person’s dream. There were a few points where I got a little tired, and thought “I could just hang back and let them go ahead” but it was a great practice of putting someone else ahead of me. It wasn’t my dream it was V’s. I was there to support her not to take away from that accomplishment by quitting or impeding progress. That kept me going (and wanting to get far away from that naked guy with the cock ring and “Dora the Explorer” lunchbox also kept me moving ahead eek)

    I had a blast with you Heather, Veronica and Ray. I know – maybe we could all get together for ice cream. Just like walking the b2b – but not.

    Love to you, fearless leader

  • I just ran my very first marathon two weeks ago. I have always run but kicked it into high gear this year. After completing a 1/2 marathon in March ’09 I wondered if a marathon wasn’t as out of reach as I had previously thought so I continued to train hard. In January, a friend of mine was diagnosed with Cancer. I committed to the marathon 2 days later. We are never guaranteed a “someday.” I ran to honor her strength and positive spirit and to show my kids that anything is possible!!! I was never so proud as the moment my toes crossed that finish line!!! I not only finished, but also managed to rally friends to pledge money in honor of our friend. It’s a great accomplishment isn’t it? I have never done the Bay to Breakers. It sounds like such fun. Your photos on your page are great and the stories are very funny. Congratulations to you!!!


    • Catherine, Site Admin

      Running a marathon – holy cow! I admire anyone who can commit to that goal. I am sorry about your friend – what a wonderful gesture. I wish I would have thought of something like that myself. thank you for your comment and your story.


  • One of my favorite quotes from Spirit of the Marathon is: “The marathon will change your life”. While my time in my actual first race is not something I am proud of, I am proud of my blisters, of not quitting and having done the sheer amount of training I did. All of that changed my life forever.

    I can’t wait to do it all again too…..

    • Catherine, Site Admin

      It is life changing, although the Bay To Breakers isn’t a marathon. Good lord, I can only imagine what that is like! Thanks for your comment – I feel the same way!

  • Catherine, Site Admin

    The kegs weren’t allowed this year. they were trying to tone it down some. Even so, it was a riot. I loved it. the Hayes Street Hill seems to be the wildest part of the race.

    Too fun. I want to do it again.

  • Cath, I never told you this story, but I went to B2B the very first weekend that I ever spent in SF… OOOOOH what an introduction to the city THAT was! ;) Naked people! 12 women dressed as all the eras of Monday! 20 varities of Elvis! A giant human caterpillar! People pushing kegs of beer in shopping carts, uphill!

    It was an absolute spectacle and I LOVED it…. Oh, I can fit in here, I thought. ;)

    SO proud of you all for going for and DOING it! Now, let’s just see what we can conquer next! ;)


    p.s. get some rest! :)

  • Terry

    Congratulations on your achievement. Brian is very proud of you. I think it’s one of the most amazing things you’ve ever done considering the fact that you have to roll out of bed by taking a pill every day. Great, great job!

    • Catherine, Site Admin

      Thank for loaning me that wind breaker. It worked perfect.

  • All marathons are crazy fun…with sports for fitness and team participation for emotional support it works out to be an enjoyable pass time and an experience of life. You had your girlfriends with you for your team. My guess it will be an experience each of you will never forget. B2B is a hoot!

    • Catherine, Site Admin

      It was crazy fun. I loved it. Thanks Mike