May 4, 2015

Be a Special Idiot

A few nights ago someone asked me if I’d read the article, "26 reasons not to run a marathon". It's a few nights before I joined the Borneo International Marathon (BIM) 2015. I hadn't read it. But now I have. Though the author brought up some great points, like running marathons isn't for everybody and it could physically damage you if you're not properly prepared, etc...there's no reason to instill fear.

There's no need to make people feel like their heart's going to stop or their knees are going to fail them, or that they're wrong for only wanting to run a marathon to brag or flood Instagram with pictures of finisher medals. That's their right. So now that I've read the top reasons NOT to run a marathon, and I've JOINED a marathon on 3rd May 2015, I've compiled my own little list: 19 reasons to run a marathon.

Here goes.

1. Feel like a super hero
Super Man, Wonder Woman, Batman, Flash, Black Widow...pick whichever tickles your fancy because you'll feel like any one of them.

2. Improve discipline in other areas of your life. 
During training periods you can be disciplined in every aspect in your life from work to diet to exercise. There's something about being able to focus your mind for hours upon hours that really sharpens it. Discipline brings a whole level of clarity to life.

3. It's a great people replacement
You recently got dumped? You and your best friend fighting? You moved away from your family? You lonely? Well marathon training can be your friend. Yes, like the author of the other list said: You will sacrifice part of your social life but when you're missing part of that social life to begin with, endless hours of running can certainly be a stand-in for a few months. And if you join a running group or training team, you might just make new friends.

4. You might make new friends
I met some new friends at the BIM; from kids to old people, from the locals to foreigners. It's fun. Yay for new friends!

5. It restores your faith in humanity
I know it sounds depressing, but having perfect strangers, both fellow runners and onlookers, encourage you when you're in pain and want to quit restores your faith in humanity. I've never seen so much goodwill and willingness to pump others up happen in a non-tragic setting.

6. It gives you an excuse to celebrate
Marathon days are pretty much better than birthdays in that you get to celebrate your own awesomeness on other than just the day you're born. People will want to take you out to eat, your parents will reinforce how wonderful they think you are and your partner will be reassured that you're the most amazing person on the planet. Selfish, I know, but true.

7. You'll discover what works for you
In terms of food as fuel, shoes, clothes, you'll find out what works for you and what doesn't.

8. You'll help worthy causes
Raising money for good causes gives you motivation to train, plus that extra self-righteousness that comes from doing good.

9. You'll learn about new products
Ever had chafing on your thighs? Underarms? Not yet, but you will and that's when you'll learn about new products like Body Glide or creative ways to use Vaseline.

10. You'll learn more about yourself
Hours upon hours running give you plenty of time to be alone with your thoughts. You'll learn what's really bothering you in some aspects in life and you'll have time to mentally sort through and figure out solutions. It's a very meditative time.

11. You'll push your limits
If you say, "I can't," to a lot of stuff, marathon training will rid you of that shitty habit. When you're not training, no matter how many marathons you've run, the thought of running double-digits is outrageous. "I can't," you might think. But when you're out there and you do it despite you mind's can'ts, you learn to push yourself past any former perceived limits. It's exhilarating.

12. You'll feel fitter, stronger than ever
There's nothing more horrible than slipping on your skinny jeans and realizing they're the only skinny ones in the situation. That doesn't happen during marathon training. You feel like a fit, sexy beast.

13. Bragging rights
Oh your friend ran a 10 km? How cute. You? You ran that 10 km after you already run 20 miles. Boom.

14. Improved cardiovascular health
But this is only true if you keep running. Don't run a marathon and then give up running altogether. Be cute and run that 10 km with your friends, you don't have to run marathons all the time to remain healthy.

15. Amazing sleep
You'll never sleep as well as you do after a long run. It's just blissful.

16. Inspiration
Whether you finally become inspiring to yourself or you're inspiring others or you happen to meet some inspirational folks, there's no shortage of inspiration when it comes to marathons. Plus, when life gets to sucking as it inevitably does at times, you can look back on that accomplishment and remember how at one point, you felt freaking invincible.

17. Post-marathon feast
No one can feast like a person who just ran a marathon. I'm personally not too hungry after a marathon, but the simple fact that at that moment I have the freedom to choose whatever I want to eat without guilt is enough for me to not regret the months of training.

18. Swag
One of my favorite parts about running a marathon is the expo: Free food, swag and good times taking pictures and getting free gears. It's like a carnival. Who doesn't love that? Plus at the end of the race you get a medal. If you're a lazy ass kid who didn't like to run, like I was, then you didn't get medals for this kind of thing when you're little. Now you do.

19. Because you want to
My biggest pet peeve is people telling others what they can't or shouldn't do. Your brother double-dared you to run a marathon? Show him you're in and run it! You wanted to do this before you turn 40? Do it! Wear your medal to your 40th birthday party if you want. If running a marathon is what you want, and you're overweight or scared you're going to drop dead during the race, then get healthy, lose weight and then train. My moral: There's always a million reasons to NOT do something, but as far as I can see the best reason TO DO something is because you want to.

1 comment:

Thank you for dropping by. Keep a song in your heart and have a nice day. Au revoir.


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