I have never enjoyed competition....I don't enjoy being nervous....I don't particularly enjoy the adrenaline rush...and I don't like being singled out, for reasons good or bad. I just enjoy being, creating and solving the visual problems ahead of me. I really do enjoy, however, being part of something bigger, something positive that alters the state of mind to an optimum experience. This weekend past, we experienced The Chicago Marathon where runners compete primarily against themselves, pushing themselves beyond their own pre-established boundaries. We met our runner-son at the airport and proceeded to the registration point, the mandatory pasta/carb meal, the hydration fixes, the stretching and the 8 pm bedtime. Preparation for these events begins years ahead of time. There is definitely a pre-race tension. I am out of my element. For me, nervousness restricts my drawing and painting hand....makes it small. Seeing the 40,000 runners and their support teams was awesome beyond belief. Elevation beyond the mundane. Heroic efforts. Exhaustion. Our runner-son did well. He is inspired to better his performance next time. I am inspired to reach beyond what I already know and do. An elevating experience.