Why even try and how to find the motivation and purpose?
While some people have told me outright that running a marathon is just plain stupid, if I were to listen to them and think back to the infamous saying, “stupid is as stupid does”, a quote from the movie Forest Gump, I would had to believe them!
I’ve done lots of silly, even outright stupid things in my life, but I’m quite sure that running the New York City Marathon is not one of them. There was a time years ago I thought of running a marathon (for a bout 5 seconds), but then quickly dismissed the idea because “it was just too hard”. What’s strange is that I have always been a runner on and off, even completed several triathlons, but still I dismissed even the thought of running “sooooo long”.
As I get older I have come to believe that “hard” does not mean, “don’t do it”. Now, hard means “do it” and do it the very best that I can. What helps me complete projects and tasks in my life that I perceive as difficult is “linking” them to something greater than myself…and quite honestly, letting people know about it. Once I was asked to do a radio show on a topic I barely knew, but I said yes immediately and by the time the radio show aired I had become an expert on the topic, eventually wrote a book about it and taught the topic across the United States and Canada – all within a single year. Setting oneself up for success by announcing it to the world, from my perspective, involves putting oneself at risk of embarrassment and even failure. To quote, Alexander the Great, “there is nothing impossible to him who will try”. So, I’m going to give it my best shot, not just for me but also for the Tourette’s Syndrome Association (TSA). This is the last “trick” - doing something for someone or something else greater than you.
At the end of the day, meaning at the end of the marathon, everyone will just go home. If my experience is anything like my experience running last year’s NY Marathon, I was so exhausted I could barely move my feet. Three separate EMT’s (emergency medical technicians) stopped me asking if I needed an ambulance. I always considered myself extremely fit, but not knowing what I was getting myself into last year, and running it as hard as I could, really took a toll on me. My brother had to physically take my clothes off, lift me, put me in a bath and feed me a health bar and fluids. For two days I walked as if someone had beat my legs with a stick! By the third day I was walking fairly normally, but if you pushed me with a few fingers I probably would have toppled over.
I think I’m a lot more conditioned now and I’ve spent a good amount of time studying how to run marathons and believe that my experience this time may be a little different. By different I mean I probably still won’t be able to walk, but I’m running for myself and for the Tourette’s Syndrome Association and I think this will allow me to get passed “the wall” and overall aches and pains much more effectively. I could take this one lightly, slow down, and get across the finish line as if it was literally “a walk in the park”, but that’s not how I do things. I plan to run this race a full 30 minutes faster than last year. This will completely trash my body temporarily, but this is a personal goal that I have.
Lots of people plan how these things are going to go down to the smallest detail, so there is a good chance that I’m kidding myself that this time around it will be more successful of a physical race for me. No matter what happens I will do this race, I will have done something for the Tourette’s Syndrome Association and hopefully make my family and friends proud!