I Believe in Perseverance and Marathoning!
I believe that perseverance can get everyone who truly wants to across the finish line of a marathon – half or full. Guts, determination, hours upon hours of training, and a tough mental psyche are necessary, but I truly believe that with perseverance it can be done. I know it can be done. As a coach for the Leukemia and Lymphoma’s Society’s Team in Training, I have seen it done.
People who have never ran one mile in their life put their best foot forward, and then their other foot, and then their best foot…and four months later that best foot propels a weary body across the finish line!
13.1 or 26.2 miles can be ran, walked, skipped, or crawled by any age, body shape, or personality style…but the all-encompassing trait must be perseverance.
I was running with a group of three women who were training for the San Diego Rock n’ Roll Marathon on their most daunting of training days – a 20-miler – the longest they would run prior to the race. One of the runners, a college girl with red hair and an effervescent personality began faltering at mile two and told me that she just didn’t think she could continue on for 18 more miles. We decided together that cutting this run short was the wisest move for her, and together we ran back to our starting point, me reminding her that this was a minor setback, and that better training days were on the horizon. At that point when she was in tears, and I truly don’t think she believed me, but two weeks later she ran that 20-miler stride-for-stride with a training group in the city to which she had just moved. Needless to say, she crossed the finish line without any problems in San Diego, and now, over a year later, continues talking about the marathon as frequently and as passionately as a mother speaks about her newborn.
Completing a marathon also spurs people to start talking about the marathoner and the greatness of the feat. As I was waiting for my 55-year-old mom to finish her well-deserved massage after walking her first half-marathon, I heard the voice of the race announcer. I thought all racers were in celebration mode at this point, when I saw a 30-year-old woman come into sight. This woman had smoked for 15 years, the announcer proudly told the few participants and supporters still lingering, and had quit her nicotine habit six months ago and taken up running instead. Trading in a pack of cigarettes for a baker’s dozen of miles seems like a good deal to me…and it must have to her too, when she believed in herself, took that first step, and persevered through the training!
In perseverance and marathoning I believe!
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