On Sunday, April 10, 2011, I spent 3 hours and 51 minutes running 26.2 miles along the streets of St. Louis, Missouri; and I can honestly say, it changed my life.
We often hear “the marathon” used as a metaphor for myriad events. The baseball season… is a marathon. Every December I look forward to… “A Christmas Story” movie marathon. Life itself… is a marathon. But when we say all of the above, what we are really just saying is that some things take a long, long time to complete.
Let me assure you, the marathon is much more than that.
It’s setting a goal and working towards it.
It’s getting up at the crack of dawn while all your friends are sleeping in.
It’s battling fatigue, slaying freezing temps, conquering blazing sun.
It’s knowing your limits, pushing them, then pushing them again.
It’s glowing when people ask you why you’re so positive about life.
It’s metaphorizing your life, making up for past mistakes, proving you’re not a nobody.
It’s throwing the hammer down on negativity.
It’s getting a song stuck in your head that… just… won’t… stop.
It’s rewarding yourself with a big, fat, juicy burger every Sunday.
It’s asking yourself “I paid to do this????” only to realize, “Hell yeah I paid to do this!!!!”
It’s thanking strangers who hand you Gatorade and oranges and Vasoline (not always in that order).
It’s being aware of your surroundings, taking in the sights, the smells, the cowbells.
It’s being extraordinary…
It’s being inspired…
It’s being an inspiration.
But most of all, it’s feeling like death only to discover just how alive you really are.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
*PS, To the lovely, smiling woman who held up a sign shortly before Mile 3 that read “If you don’t finish, Albert Pujols will sign with the Cubs”… well, I want you to know that around the 22 mile marker, when I just about wanted to die, I thought about that sign and I finished that damn race for you. MUAH!