What We Can Learn From A Marathon Runner

Believe it or not, there are a few things we can learn from observing a marathon runner BESIDES things like perseverance, work ethic and the basic understanding of sanity: running 26.2 miles is something nearly anyone can do, if their frame of mind is in the correct, well, frame. As a runner in my previous life – I ran cross-country in high school and I’ve dabbled in a few 10K runs over the years since – I watched with awe as both my daughter Nicole and her younger brother Jake both began training for half-marathons at the end of 2021. Both had different reasons for wanting to train: Nicole wanted to get in better overall shape, and Jake had been challenged by an acting colleague. Ultimately they both completed half-marathons in 2022, with Nicole feeling like that was enough for her. Jake, however, felt like he needed to continue, and began a fairly strict training regimen in preparation for a full marathon. He initially trained with that same friend/acting colleague that challenged him in the first place, but when that person’s schedule interfered with his entry into The Providence, Rhode Island Marathon, Jake continued on alone. According to Jake himself, “I literally had to slow my pace down once I realized I was pushing too hard. I knew it [the run] was going to get worse before I finally crossed the finish line.” And cross he did, beating his goal of four hours by 8 seconds (official time: 3 hours, 52 seconds) while literally strutting across the finish line. He slapped off his own hat and clapped his hands in celebration, in what amounts to one of the coolest moments I’ve ever witnessed as a parent. It’s probably crazy, but after watching Jake’s careful physical preparation and his focus on the mental side of his marathon journey, I had myself believing that I, too, could run 26.2 miles. It’s the inspiration that I took away from watching my son that day 🙂

John Young