A very long time ago in a land far away (or really, just down the road from where I live now) I had a horrible September. I remember hearing the song, "Wake Me Up When September Ends," by Greenday and thinking that was my song. All I wanted to do was crawl in a hole and hide until October. I wanted to start over, I wanted my sadness to go away, I wanted the cool breezes and beauty of fall to ease my heavy heart. And that meant September had to end.
And as it always does, September did finally come to a close that year. I did get to start over and my spirits began to lift. Still, each year following that one when September rolled around, I remembered. I was sure I would never like September.
Several years later however, I changed my mind. In 2007 on the 3rd day of this previously hated month, I married Jason Reneau and September turned into my new favorite month.
We had a tiny little wedding at my parent's house with only our immediate family. It was absolutely perfect. No stress, no fuss, no "this day is all about me." We laughed, we decorated, we watched Father of the Bride. Mom made Dad and me practice our walk down the stairs 150 times the night before, and Dad rehearsed what he would say when he gave away me starting with, "At long last..." He had strict instructions to keep it to, "Her mother and I do." I had a dress, a cake, and my family, and that was all this bride needed.
The next September, when we celebrated our 1 year anniversary, we also embarked on a new little adventure called the Blue Ridge Relay. Our team of 6 people, The Tortoises and the Hares, ran 200 miles in 29 hours and 48 minutes, placing 4th in the ultra team division. I ran a little over 30 miles divided up in 6 legs and it was one of the most challenging and most rewarding adventures of my life. And I got to share it with my husband of 1 year.
In September of 2009 I ran the Air Force Marathon, and for the first time ever, Jason ran a marathon with me. The entire way. While I did not PR, it is still one of my favorite marathons because he was with me. We had the best time out there together. It may not seem like much, but for a 2:38 marathoner to run with a (then) 4:00 marathoner...it is a big deal. It is much harder than you might think to run slower than you can for 26.2 miles, and Jason ran over 3 minutes per mile slower than he would have otherwise. With me - his wife of 2 years.
Last September, Jason had just completed his very first Ironman in Louisville, KY. I was so proud I could have burst. Even though I did not do the event, I spent the day cheering and watching and praying and getting the Ironman logo painted on my arm, running (or driving) from one spectator station to the next, and it was a powerful experience for me as well as for my amazing Ironman. He finished in 11:13:36 and I could not have been prouder of him. For our anniversary, I got him a pretty sweet bike rack...and I was pretty proud of myself then too.
This September, in keeping with the tradition we've set, we will head out once again for Jason to enter his second Ironman in Madison, Wisconsin. It makes me smile and shake my head in wonder. In the 4 years we've been married, every September has held some new adventure that we share together, something that brings us closer and strengthens the bond we have. Every September I celebrate my marriage to this amazing man, feeling so thankful that we found each other (at long last...) as we gear up for whatever crazy event we've come up with to do next.
Needless to say, I love September now.