They say The Marathon changes you.
Just over three weeks ago I finished my first marathon. 26.2 miles. For 5 hours, 12 minutes and 5 seconds I ran, jogged, walked, and struggled. But in the end, I crossed that finish line. I finished. And at the finish line…I wasn’t really sure what to feel. Finishing that marathon…achieving such a feat..it really made me take a hard look at where I’m at and how far I’ve come.
The Marathon did change me…and the nugget of knowledge I gained? It’s one I will never let go of.
It’s amazing to realize what you can accomplish in just two years. Really…March 2013 I “went for a run” for the very first time ever – 3.25 miles…it hurt…and now…just over two years later…I finished my first MARATHON. 26.2 miles…and I felt fine.
Or is it? I’ve said it a million times and I’ll say it a million more…it’s truly amazing what the human body will do if you give it enough time, training, and fuel. There are people that successfully run Iron Man triathlons – they cover 140.6 miles swimming, biking, and running. There are people who run ultramarathons covering as much as 100 miles (maybe even more!) ON FOOT. There are countless examples, but the lesson is the same:
Your body will go the distance.
Despite what you may feel right now, your body will do it. Your body yearns for the challenge. It wants to be treated well, maintained, trained, fed the right foods and asked to move in ways you might not have moved in a very long time. If you train and fuel correctly your body can and will do what you will ask it.
And so it becomes a mental game. Do you have the heart, the spirit, and the mental toughness to outlast the forces that are working against you? In The Marathon you’ve got 26.2 miles of unforgiving pavement and the forces of Nature – sun, wind, heat, humidity, cold, rain…you’re battling the Earth itself to achieve your victory (and as far as I’m concerned there is nothing more pure).
But what about in your own journey?
On a daily basis, you fight against much more. Self-esteem. Peer-pressure. The fact that healthy food and gym memberships are SO expensive, but that McBurger with fries is just $2.99 and hey, my favorite show is on!
You’ve got to win the fight. It’s life or death. Battle back and say “NO, it’s NOT ok to just sit there and rot on the couch.”
“NO, I WILL invest in myself…because a gym membership now costs a lot less than my medical bills will later. If I eat out one less time a month…there’s my dues! I shouldn’t even be having that platter of nachos anyway.”
“NO, you will NOT make me feel stupid for going to the gym when I weigh 300 lbs…because I’ve got news for you pal, I’m NOT going to weigh 300 lbs for much longer…and won’t you look silly when I’ve got a 6-pack and you’re still rockin’ the ‘dad bod’.”
The Marathon taught me a lot of things about myself I never expected to learn…but quite possibly the most important thing I learned…is that there truly is no limit. It’s something I’ve believed for a long time, but there was a nagging suspicion somewhere in the back of my mind that there was, in fact, a ceiling…albeit a high one…and eventually…you would find it.
But now it’s been made crystal clear to me: there is no ceiling. There truly is NO limit to what you can achieve. As long as you set your goal, make a plan, train, fuel, and believe…you really can achieve anything. It might be hard to believe right now, sitting where you’re sitting…but I was sitting in a place very similar not too long ago…
Don’t lose faith in yourself. You can do it. Whatever “it” is.