This month I ran my 26th half marathon. My goal every year is to finish the 21km run under 2 hours. My time this year is 1:58:03 and I’m satisfied. When reviewing my running records, my fastest time is 1:47:00. In the past 2 years, after I had changed job, I only run on Sunday mornings instead of running 3 to 4 times per week. So it’s fair for the deteriorated performance – what you get out of it is what you put into it, just that simple.
My friends were surprised when they heard I needed to pay money, get up at 5am, take the train to city, and start running at 6:45am. Ridiculous, insane, idiot are the keywords in their comments. But sometimes the dumbest things result in the fondest memories. The time you stayed up all night working on an assignment that was due the next day; the time you spent the weekend for a project to be delivered on Monday; the time you hiked up the mountain in the dark for the sunrise. Sometimes we need to do something crazy. You probably won’t like it while you’re doing it but the result will be a memory that will always make you smile. You’ll look back and say, “Wow that was stupid, but let’s do it again!”
My friends would also ask, “What did you gain from the run?” Well, other than a sense of fulfillment and sore legs, there was also a finishing medal. As her birthday and the run are in the same month, I once thought that it would be a heart-warming birthday gift to her with her birthday on the medal. But the run needs to be held on her birthday. Years passed and days shifted, finally the run and her birthday were on the same day. However we also changed with time. We had broken up and couldn’t wait till that day. To my surprise, I ran the fastest time that year.
Life is like a marathon, it’s full of ups and downs, struggling and suffering. Everyone has their own philosophy to live. We come to this world and we’ll never get out of it alive. Just like the run, once it started, there is no turning back. In the run, people may run with you for some time but then get lost in the crowd. What distinguishes you from others is that how you live your life. Find your own pace and do what you love. Don’t settle for ordinary, have an extraordinary trip.
Every life has the potential to be lived deeply.
– William Powers