Yesterday morning I sat in a quiet coffee shop while right outside the window men and women were running by, competitors in the 2012 Columbus Marathon.
This was the first marathon I ever watched. I’ve never been a race spectator, but I have been a race participant. The longest race I’ve ever completed is a half marathon in 2010.
I don’t think that it takes being a runner of any level to appreciate the inspiration of marathoners. 26.3 miles is an incredible feat.
I watched in amazement as the leaders flew by.
This man was in 3rd place when I shot the photo. He was running a 5.34 minute mile pace. Insanely fast!!!
As the middle of the pack runners went by I was even more amazed. I could see just how hard some of them were working, the pain some were feeling. I saw one man yell out gleefully while running past, so full of the infamous runners high.
What impresses me more than the speed and strength and unbelievable physical ability is the determination of each marathoner. The hours and hours of training. The incredible dedication.
Each of these runners found something that they love, something they are willing to struggle with, to fight for, to push through. They feel pain and joy, success and failure. They have good runs and bad runs. And they keep on going.
It isn’t the race that is amazing. It is everything leading up to race day that I find so inspiring.
You may not be a runner, or have any interest in ever running a marathon. But you have the ability to achieve your own goals, your own greatness.
You too will struggle, fight, feel pain and joy, success and failure.
Just as each marathoner began with one simple step, so can you.