We are different, in essence, from other men. If you want to win something, run 100 meters. If you want to experience something, run a marathon.
The word Marathon is from the legend of Greek messenger Philippides who ran from the battlefield of Marathon to Athens to announce the defeat of the Persian army. The legend states that he ran the entire distance of approximately 40 kilometers (25 miles for our metric impaired friends) and after announcing victory died.
That’s a long distance for me to drive much less run. I’ve done 40 kilometer marches in the Army with a full kit and even walking that distance sucks and I wouldn’t ever want to do it again.
This is a marathon in life. You can’t be sprinting all the time or else you wear yourself out. You have to make sure you’re taking care of yourself, keeping yourself grounded and not letting every little thing get you worked up.
For anyone who’s ever had to run or even walk a long distance to the point of exhaustion they may understand how life is like a marathon. In the beginning it seems easy enough and though the it seems to take quite a while to get over the initial part it’s not so bad. That’s how much of our childhood was. Time seemed slow, but you still woke up in the morning with a smile to conquer the day. Each step seemed easy enough and you knew that you were getting closer and closer to something great.
The teen years are the first signs of fatigue, much like the second 10 kilometers would be in our imaginary marathon. You’re a bit winded now, breathing harder and harder but still each step is automatic. You suffer a bit, but if you think how much worse can things get, if I can handle this and become an adult life will be easy. We dream on through this phase with set age goals, sixteen to drive, eighteen to be an adult and twenty-one to start drinking legally.
As an independent adult things are now starting to get harder and harder, your feet are moving of their own volition and you have no choice, but to push forward even though the rest your body is hating everything and just looking for a rest. Your lungs are burning, your heart is pounding as sweat is running in rivers off of your body. You wonder how much you’ve gone and dread the distance left in front of you. At this point giving up is not really an option you’ve come too far so tread forward step after step. If you’re lucky you’ve hit your second wind and push forward even though your body resists. Simply being there isn’t enough you need to will yourself to keep up the pace, to keep running.
Now you know that the end is near that the finish is just ahead. You might not be able to see it now, but it’s there and rest is at hand. Your mind is a bit scattered at this point, it’s harder and harder to concentrate and keep a coherent thought and your body is starting to feel nothing, but pain. Each step forward is filled with agony as your lungs are burning and your heart is pounding, your feet are bruised and your ankles feel like they can snap at any moment. You still surge on though knowing that rest is finally at hand that soon you’ll finish the race.
And finally you’re done, exhausted, but done. You’ve finished your marathon and can finally rest.
Originally posted 2017-01-16 18:01:55.