Why you should run a Marathon

You have the strength, the courage, the discipline and the power to bring your dreams to life, to be the change you want to see. You can make your dreams a reality.

To be the person you need to be to achieve your goals – you are going to first run a marathon. Yes, a marathon! YOU are going to finish a marathon. That’s 26.2 miles. I’m going to tell you that you CAN finish a marathon. I will tell you that you DO have enough time, and that you are not too out of shape, slow, old, or whatever excuse you have in your head. Because that voice in your head telling you that you can’t run a marathon, is the same voice that’s sabotaging you in other areas of your life.

I know from my own experience, and from talking to other runners, that finishing a marathon can be an important first step to launching you to the extraordinary life you’ve been dreaming about. Why? Because…

Training for a marathon will promote better physical and mental health – two important prerequisites for achieving big goals – or sometimes the big goals themselves.

Marathon runners are better at their jobs – it’s a documented fact! Read what I wrote about that earlier this year here. And here’s a direct link to an article about the study: The most successful corporate chieftains are marathon runners.

Training for a marathon creates good habits. In order to achieve our goals we need to create a habit of being who we are at our best. It’s said that it takes 30 days to create a new habit (read what I wrote about habits here). A marathon training plan is anywhere from 16-20 weeks. A marathon-training plan is all laid out for you. It doesn’t take much thought. It creates discipline and focus, and illustrates how creating and following a plan will lead to accomplishing a goal (TIP: Having a coach makes you accountable for actually following the plan and creating a routine and habit).

Finishing the marathon gives you an enormous self-esteem boost that suddenly gives you courage to achieve other goals. You achieved something that only half of 1% of the population achieve, so now you know you can do anything you are committed to doing. You’re no longer going to be shy about presenting your ideas. You are going to ignore the naysayers – you know that 99.5% who haven’t run a marathon, and yet think they can tell you your goals are unachievable or your idea won’t work! And most importantly, you can finally shut down the voices in your own head that make you think you lack the courage or the strength or the time to live your dreams.

Finishing a marathon is an important first step to launching you to your extraordinary life because for the rest of your life – and I’m quoting the marathoners creed here – “there will be days when you don’t know if you can run a marathon, but there will be a lifetime knowing that you have.” And that’s a very powerful memory to draw on when things get tough. Training for and completing a marathon builds a mental fortitude that you can draw on in challenging times for as long as you live. I can’t stress enough how important that is.

I went from being a mediocre athlete as a kid to being a marathon finisher and locally competitive runner. Then, I went from a career as a mediocre sales person to being a successful fundraiser and non-profit CEO after running my first marathon. I re-invented myself again in my 50s. I am now thriving, three years after a long period of my life in which I lost my both of my parents, a close aunt and uncle, my dog, 4 jobs, and survived cancer and my husband’s suicide. I am thriving because of what marathon training has brought to my life.

Imagine what finishing a marathon can do for you! Is training for a marathon easy? No. Is finishing a marathon easy? Well, a little more so if you’ve done the training, but no, it’s not easy. 26.2 miles is far! But so is the journey to anywhere meaningful and important. And that’s the lesson learned in training for and running a marathon. It’s not unachievable. None of your goals are unachievable. Everything you need to know, you can learn by signing up for a marathon.

The reasons you’re giving yourself for not running a marathon are the same reasons your giving yourself for not getting other things done. So let’s kick start your big goals. Let’s run a marathon!

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Chicago, Illinois. December 2017.

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