Iíve come across this poster a lot this past week. On bus stops, on TV, on Facebook, on sports sites. To be honest, I feel jealous and kind of disappointed. I wanted to be part of this. Not the marathon, of course, but one of the other races that are held on the same day. But it was my choice not to sign up for it. And I keep reminding myself that just because something is not happening for me right now, it doesnít mean that it will never happen. It means Iím not ready for it.
But this is not to talk about me. This is to talk about them. The people who are the personalization of commitment, determination, courage and will-power all in one. The marathoners.
And Iím not talking about the people who are athletes and have been running since they were teenagers. Not that their accomplishments are inferior. But I really admire and look up to all those people who took up running late in their lives. People who started running counting their heavy breaths until they managed to finish a mile. And they ended up transforming this mile into 26.2. They went from a few meters to 42.2 kilometers. I feel so lucky to have met many of those people here.
I always read marathon blogs. And they always bring me to tears with overwhelming feelings of admiration and awe. Their training, what brought them to the big day, is usually a mix of joy and disappointment, belief and disbelief, peaking and dipping self-confidence, courage and discouragement. And all this mixture of emotions leads them throughout their training journey which is not happening in a parallel dimension. Itís part of their daily lives and it co-exists with their demanding roles in their families, jobs, societies.
But whatís almost always the most impressive and overwhelming part is their experience from the race day. Their description of how they managed to overcome their bodiesí limits and their fears. The persistence that helped them continue. The thoughts that guided them through all the mind barriers. The hidden stockpiles of strength which helped them surpass their limits of physical and emotional endurance. And this small step of victory, the one that crossed the finish line and felt like a giant leap which marked a life-changing point in their own personal story and their lifeís achievements.
I wanted to name all of you in this blog. But Iím afraid I might forget someone and it wouldnít be fair. All of you, my Sparkfriends, whether youíve run a full or a half marathon Ė you know who you are Ė have been an endless source of inspiration for me. And I believe youíve done the same for other people, too.
This Sunday, more than 9,500 people will be running the authentic marathon route, the one that named this wonderful athletic event. People from all five continents of the planet and people of all ages. Many of them are well into their seventies and the older one is a man from Italy who is proudly running at the 84th year of his life! If youíre looking for inspiration this weekend, think about this man!
Good luck, marathoners! Keep on showing us the way to achievement.
Thank you for reading, Sparkers. Have a great weekend!