I have had the opportunity to participate in a half marathon on two different occasions. It’s 21.1km for a half marathon and for those who are not good with mentally estimating distances (like myself am usually clueless when it comes to talking about distances), let me see how best I can assist. If you are an athletics fan, just imagine doing the 100m run about 21 times…..of course with varying speeds (running, jogging and walking).
I am still looking forward to the day I will complete a full marathon. That would be the icing on the cake. As I sat down one morning looking through my old pictures, I came across some pictures from the marathon and all the memories came flooding in. That was when it clicked! we always hear people say ‘life is not a race’ and that’s true. It is easy to say this but practically it is a challenge. Personally I have seen people making comparisons, even parents comparing their kids but forgetting that each individual is unique and progresses at their own pace. This is different from being lazy and visionless (hope it’s a word), excuse me to say. So if you fall in this category please stop using this phrase as your excuse.
Running the marathon was a good experience for me. Was fun and tiring. And of course, there are those people who keep wondering why one would wake up one day and decide to participate in a marathon when one could be relaxing at home with a drink in comparison to being out under the hot sun especially on a weekend. 🙂
Someone asked me once, ‘What weight do you want to lose?”. In the person’s mind, I am petite so running a marathon should be the last thing I should be doing. Of course during the run, people wanted to know if we were Ghanaians as it’s expected that marathons are only run by foreigners. smh….I wonder where that line of thinking comes from.
It was a fun experience and these are few take ways I have for you today.
1 . Start with what is within your capacity
I would feel good after completing a full marathon, but that does not mean I should lie to myself by going in for the full marathon as my first marathon experience. No! No! That would be disastrous……….I could tire myself out and breakdown or on the positive side I could have completed it. The important thing is to start from somewhere, but know yourself and what you can handle.
In life we should learn to start or approach projects / tasks that we know deep down within us, we can work towards achieving. We can then gradually challenge ourselves with bigger subsequent tasks.
2. Surround yourself with people who believe in your goals or have the same mission
During the marathon, we ended up having our own mini races (these are people we met that day) within the marathon. It was fun! I got excited whenever I outrun someone and got motivated further when the same person later out run me. We would smile or laugh at each other when that happened. We were all running towards a goal, not to win the race but to cross the finish line.
Periodically in life, we might lag behind, but once we have people around us who recognise our goals and are willing to push or guide us to achieve them, then it makes the world a better place. You are certain to have someone help you up when you are down and not people with ‘PHDs’ (Pull Him Down syndrome).
3. Never lose focus!
During the race, there will be a lot of distractions…..the feeling of being at the bottom might demotivate one to stop the race, comments would be passed by onlookers (some may spur you on and others will kill your spirit), temptation to take shortcuts or feign injuries. I vividly remember the last marathon, when we got to the start line, the race had already started about half an hour ago. We could have given up but we started our own marathon and still managed to by-pass a few to cross the finish line.
Once you set a goal for yourself in life, never lose track of it. It won’t be an easy journey, but with a focused mind you will surely get there!
4. We all reach our goals at different rates.
During the marathon, you will find runners running at a constant speed, some will sit to take a break, others will walk and of course others will give up along the way and end up being driven to the finish line.
In life we will all get to where we want to be at different times. The important thing is to ensure that you achieve your goal with the satisfaction that you did not cut corners and all your success was as a result of your own sweat and toil.
5. Observers will be worried.
People will pass comments as they do best, but never let them get to you or you will end up like the man who was travelling with his son on a donkey. Everyone has an opinion and you cannot satisfy every person on earth.
I woke up the next day with body cramps and could not wear heels to work for some days but knowing that I made it to the finish line was enough motivation. That alone made my day. 🙂