Greetings from the Big Apple! Today was the New York City Half Marathon. 13.1 miles from Central Park to Battery Park. I had the pleasure of watching the first runner pass the 9 mile mark AND the last 2 runners. Both were equally inspiring. As I watched the 13 thousand runners from all over the world, both men and women, from teenagers to what it seemed, people in their 70’s, I was inspired. They all had different reasons for running the 1/2 marathon…some for individual goals, some in memory of someone, some because someone forced them to run it with them, some for charity and countless other reasons. Some were walking by the time I saw them at the 9 mile mark, others keeping good pace, one man was on his cell phone, another with a cane. I even saw someone juggling while running! Police officers cheering runners on, people cheering on complete strangers…all inspiring each other.
What do all of those runners have in common? They showed up! A big part of life is just showing up; taking action. How many people SAY they want to or are going to run a marathon and don’t? I wish I had a dollar for every one of those people. It’s like those 3 frogs on a log and one decides to jump…how many frogs are left? Most say 2, but there are still 3…just because the frog DECIDED to jump, doesn’t mean it DID jump. People are the same way. Decisions are nothing without action.
I spoke to Sandra Clopp, runner #9202 from Manhattan. She said she ran because for her it is motivation and she enjoys the health benefits. Sandra says that her times are faster when she runs the marathons because she is so inspired by all the other runners and the atmosphere. There is music and people on bikes riding along the runners saying, “Good job runners, keep it up!” I asked Clopp what went through her mind BEFORE the race. “I was tired. I tried getting a good night’s sleep, but only got 4 hours.” Wow, talk about taking action regardless of feeling. That is how you achieve success, in my eyes. You don’t have to be the best marathon runner but you can still perform at that level. DURING the race she said she felt good and was inspired by the atmosphere and people. AFTER the race, she was tired, but got inspired again, because every runner got a medal. Sandra Clopp’s advice to you, “I’m a very competitive person, but today I realized that it’s not all about winning.”
Well put, Arthur Ashe once said, “Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is sometimes more important than the outcome. Not everyone can be number one.”
Remember, life is a marathon, not a sprint. Enjoy the process.