Yes, it's Saturday morning, and I'm finally getting to the Words, Words, Words post of the week. That's because the past two days have been abnormally full of cleaning. We have company in town for the United States Air Force Marathon. Harley is doing his fifth, or maybe sixth, marathon. He can't remember. George is training for his fourth marathon at the end of October, which will be his first marathon not preceeded by a 2.4 miles swim and 112 mile bike ride.
Crazy people. I'm surrounded by crazy people who think endurance sports are, like, fun.
I found a quotation that sums up what I imagine a marathon to feel like because no way am I crazy enough to run one.
"The difference between the mile and the marathon is the difference between burning your fingers with a match and being slowly roasted over hot coals." Hal Higdon, running writer and coach
The funniest aspect of this quotation is that every person who's run more than one marathon would agree with it...and they run another marathon anyway. These people really are crazy.
So why do I admire them so much? Because marathon embodies the admirable human qualities of self-discipline and endurance. And it's cool that we humans have organized sports in a way that you can earn finisher medals for your admirable human qualities.
Plenty of us have self-discipline and endurance in other areas of our lives. In education, the finisher medal is a diploma or degree. In careers, the finisher medal is retirement.
In other situations where self-discipline and endurance get us through, we don't get a finisher medal. We might cross an invisible finish line, staggering and bleeding from blisters and chafing, but no crowd cheers, and nice EMTs are not waiting to hook us up to an IV bag.
When we cheer the marathoners crossing the line, we're cheering that human spirit of self-discipline and endurance, the ability to set our minds on a goal and just do it, no matter how hard and crazy and big it is.
And that is something worth cheering for, don't you think?
What have self-discipline and endurance helped you accomplish in life?