from mile to marathon

The journey of a thousand leagues begins from beneath your feet.

Monday, June 26, 2006

not knowing… why I was doing this

I was doing three miles a day, and still did not know yet why I was doing it. Okay, so three miles is nothing to a real runner, but it is substantial to me, who never ran beyond the athletic exercises mandated in school 25 years ago, what was it, perhaps a half a mile. And I did not know why I was fixated on this marathon thing. It is an extreme experience, not something you do on an ordinary day. One of those instances when what carries you forward is not muscle power, but the force of will. Or so I imagine. The first marathon runner in history, that Greek warrior with a disputed name who ran the distance between the hills of Marathon and Athens after battle, two millenniums ago, ran because he had a purpose, ran for something greater than himself. This is maybe why so many runners today engage in a marathon for the benefit of a cause. But we are also testing ourselves – our willpower, our endurance, our motivation. We are testing who we are. Three miles or not, I was still afraid I would fail the test.


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