Two weeks from today, the 36th annual Marine Corps Marathon will get underway. I’m not running it, but my memories from last year’s race remain as vivid as ever—because on that day, I felt like a superhero* (and it wasn’t because the MCM 2010 fell on Halloween). Let me explain.
Growing up, I loved Wonder Woman. I mean, really loved her. (No, not like that, sicko.) She was powerful and pretty. And I was amazed at seeing a female lead character with long, dark hair and bright blue eyes. What a novelty!
Sadly, there was no Sandra Oh, Maggie Q, or Lucy Liu when I was a little girl. But I felt like I could relate to Wonder Woman since she was one of only a few high-profile brunette actresses on TV. The only other example was Jaclyn Smith on “Charlie’s Angels,” but I always preferred to play Farrah Fawcett or Cheryl Ladd. (While Kate Jackson also had dark hair, c’mon, no one wanted to be her.)
Fast forward twenty—OK, make that thirty–years. These days, when I want to channel my own inner-superhero, I get dressed in my running clothes (a combo of lululemon and Nike togs). They’re certainly no replacement for the Wonder Woman Underoos I once wore. Still, they’re form-fitting and stretchy like any proper superhero outfit, and I believe they give me the extra power to tackle steep hills, brave stiff winds, fly lightly downhill and conquer my fears.
The marathon last year was the biggest stage for my Wonder Woman alter ego.
While I definitely did not morph into a racing goddess like Liliya Shobukhova or Edna Kiplagat, I did finish happy and healthy. And my superhero getup carried me through, especially during those dark, difficult stretches along the course when I was running on almost empty.
So to all MCM participants this year, no matter what you’re wearing, good luck and have fun!
* I fully realize that the real superheroes are the Few, the Proud, the kickass Marines.