As noted in this blog yesterday I reported on my results from Steamtown Marathon in Scranton PA. Little did I know that this past weekend there were 33 marathons completed around the United States. From Newport RI to Long Beach CA there were quite a few races to choose from, some hilly, some flat a few fast and others slow, the times across them ranged from a blistering record pace of 2:03:45 in the running of the Chicago Marathon to a tough fought 2:50 winning time in hills of Vermont. What is amazing is how many people, trained around the US to get ready for their own personal version of the marathon. Slow paces, personal bests, stories of elation and some of disappointment were to be found at every race venue. It really was a model for THPL, played out by thousands and thousands of pairs of sneakers strapped to the feet of the myriad of competitors who were out there to find a way to add just a bit of meaning and purpose to the lives. To be able to be called a marathon finisher they would have to complete what many thought they would not be able to, fighting past every possible physical and mental objection and yet they did it….. and today, while feeling sore there was a great sense of satisfaction having completed what everyone knows is a big accomplishment by any measure.
And while there are many stories of inspiration that come on such a marathon weekend, I was struck by the story of Maickel Melamed in the Chicago marathon. Maickel, 38, has muscular dystrophy. Yet he decided to venture onto the course to challenge his mind to carry his body across the course of 26.2 miles. After 16 hours and 46 minutes of struggle he crossed the finish line and stated “if you dream it, make it happen” and then added “because your life is the most beautiful thing that could happen to you. So make the best of it”
And so it is – the true example of how we think about THPL – it is, after all, about our own level of high performance. About our willingness to challenge ourselves to do more, to do better, to conquer ourselves by digging deep into our soul and finding meaning in our own lives, in our own existence…..enough to power us past any obstacle if indeed that is what we want to do.
A big thanks to Maickel and every other competitor who this past weekend showed beyond a shadow of a doubt that anything is possible if we want it to be. Congratulations to all of the honorary members of THPL – whether they know it or not we are all part of one great high performance community…….
Loving life with my marathon buddies