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My college English professor once told me I needed to quit tip toeing around my thesis and just spit it out. So here you go, You should sign up for a marathon, or a ½ marathon, or a 5K, or a 50K or really anything that's tough and will make you ask, “why did I sign up for this, and why did I think it would be fun!?”
Last week I had the opportunity to race the New York City Marathon. Typically I get as distracted as everyone else. I look at my phone too much, I stare out the window and have had “easily distracted” written on my report card. But my mind doesn’t really get distracted during a race, I like being there, special things happen during races, and if you let your mind wander, you can miss it. I’m usually pretty focused on the task, on pace and effort and if what I just splashed on my face was water or gatorade… But New York was a little different. I was present and focused, but also a little reflective. I could not help but be inspired by the 30,000+ people with unique lives and stories choosing to do something hard. I was inspired by the crowds lining both sides of the street for 26 miles, choosing to spend their morning cheering and yelling and making the race something world class and special. I was inspired by Tommy.. Most world class runners would not do a marathon if they were not in perfect race shape, or if they had a sore achilles, or stomach bug, and that's OK. But Tommy did. He chose to walk 26.2 miles smiling, and radiating humility, positivity, and hope in a way only Tommy can. Tommy is used to breaking the tape with crowds yelling. In New York He crossed the finish line in the dark, after the crowds had left, with his wife and a slice of pizza, but unequivocally victorious.
Neil Gaiman says, “Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” This fairy tale story reminds us our dragons can be beaten and to celebrate that.
English historian Edward Gibbon says “We improve ourselves by victories over ourselves. There must be contests, and we must win.” So, create a contest for yourself! register for a race. Do it today! You don’t have to sign up for a big city marathon, sign up for your local neighborhood 5K, or that trail race that's been rattling around the back of your head, or that huge goal race that's simultaneously terrifying and exciting. Create a contest for yourself, fight a dragon and win. Let's rage friends.