It was mile 11 of my 22nd marathon and the sign ahead would get me through the next 15.2 miles. Everything you ever wanted to know about yourself you can learn during a marathon.Marathon 21 had been 13 days before. My heart was ready to run another 26.2 but my legs had another idea. The pain, much like my determination to finish, was more immense than the previous race. I needed to prove to myself that even though I have conquered the distance many times before, that I could do it again. It wasn’t a race for chasing PR’s – it was a race to emotionally prove to myself that I have the strength to live the life I dream of. Here are some of the things I learned over those remaining 15.2 miles:
- Starting and finishing something is important in life. If you quit when the going gets tough it only gets easier to keep quitting.
- It’s going to hurt – life hurts. There are lows and highs and the highs feel higher when you know what the lowest of lows feel like.
- You will feel good for a period but no matter how much you want to bottle up that feeling, you can’t. Enjoy it while it lasts.
- The marathon does not care what you look like. It does not judge you. Make friends in life who are like the marathon. Ones that accept you for who you are.
- Find something that makes you happy-really, really happy. Running makes me happy.
- The mind is a powerful tool. When your body hurts make your mind run your body–this is true in life and in running.
- You have a choice whether or not to have a smile on your face–even when you are in pain. Happiness is a state of mind you choose, not a destination you are looking for.
- I can do anything I put my mind to. Anything.
- Do not fear the inevitable pain that may come. The only thing to truly fear is fear itself. Pain is something that one must go through at times, in order to grow, it isn’t always bad.
- The simple things in life are some of the most enjoyable: wind blowing through your hair; the warm sun on your skin on a fall day; the beautiful colors of the leaves falling by the riverside; a stranger cheering you on.
- The things that mean the most in life are often the hardest.
- I am strong. VERY STRONG.
What has a marathon taught you about yourself?