|climbing the entrance into the Old City|
The question kind of bothered me and nagged at me. Right, whats the big deal? To me it does not matter if I run 10 minutes faster or slower - I am not a professional runner, and I am not making mroe or less money based on my finish time, and the difference is really insignificant. So what's the big deal for me to run a marathon, if anybody could?
I further wondered as I heard the cheers from people as I ran by. They were calling out all sorts of things, but the cheer most heard was probably "Kol HaKavod!", meaning, good for you, or kudos. I was wondering, as I was hearing things, what did I do so special to deserve that? I didnt save a life or anything like that - all I did was run for a crazy amount of time.
Of course you can answer that nobody has the right to ask the question until they have run it. there are tremendous challenges to overcome in preparing for, and running, a marathon, and until you do it, you cannot understand it. So many more people drop out of it due to the difficulty, than those that complete the training. Everybody who sets his mind to it, and I believe the mental aspect of the marathon and the training is far more difficult than the physical aspect, can do it, but there are tremendous difficulties to overcome.
But I have done it already. Why am I still doing it? What is the big deal if anybody, or almost anybody, can do it? What's the big deal if many people walk through it and can say just as well that they finished the marathon? Maybe finishing a marathon is not really such a big deal!? Just to see if I can do it 10 or 15 minutes faster? Who cares? What difference does it make to me or to the universe?
While running I thought about this. Talk about mind games. The craziness your head feels at kilometers 33-37, just makes you crazy.
|The view from the entrance of the Old City|
Neither I, who finished at 4:36, nor my sister who finished at 6 hours and a bit, nor the old lady who finished 20 minutes later, nor the guy who finished at 3 hours, nor the sick fellow, nor the guy who had to crawl across the line or anybody else (except for the professionals) did this to win money or to save the world. We each did this as a way of defeating demons. We each have our own demons, our own challenges, and each person who completed the marathon, no matter what his or her final time was, for some even if they just went out there and tried and maybe did not even finish, is a champion for figuring out how to overcome those challenges, for pulling out the strength and inner determination, and succeeding. Anybody who does this, can do anything. It is a life-changing experience.
Now I can say I have no need to do this any longer. I am going to retire from long distance running. I see no purpose in doing this any more, for me. Maybe I will participate in shorter races, maybe not.
Then again, I already registered for the Tel Aviv Marathon that takes place in two weeks. Maybe I will retire after that.