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More on The Purpose of The Marathon

More on The Purpose of The Marathon

[Let’s just get this out there. Everything I write includes several success tidbits, and yes, my job is in fact to get people thinking, get people moving and I like to do so in nontraditional ways (unlike society’s make you feel good anyway possible instead of teaching valuable lessons and concepts). Reading my articles requires the realization that this article may not pertain to you – but you might still walk away with something new.  You always have choice in everything you do – to react emotionally or respond maturely – and that is entirely upon you. ]


*Edited to add: Now about this post I wrote that riled a few people up, The Point of the Marathon, I wrote it the way I did intentionally. To create a great example for the success lessons in this post and the rest of the articles in this series. Yes, it is a series I wrote ahead of time before I posted the Point of the Marathon. And with that post I even allowed a few of the cranky comments to be shared – on purpose. I encourage you, regardless of how you viewed the first article, to continue reading the series, set aside opinions and simply be willing to open your mind to a different kind of thinking.* On to Part II.


*This post contains affiliate links.

You see, one of the things in The Point of the Marathon post was very true, the high level athlete (in this case the more advanced long distance runner) is actually a different kind of person than everyone else. They have developed and intentionally utilize principles, methods, and ways of approaching life that separate them from others – and which allows them to perform so well as a high level athlete.

One of these differences is while most people are happy and content with (and this is totally fine!) just finishing a race (of any distance) or being in the middle or even dead last, the high level athlete is purposefully seeking out avenues for continued growth and improvement. They have the mindset of a very observant student.

While the average person is doing their race, they are focused on

A) not quitting

B)not walking or as little as possible

C)getting across that finish line.

The high level athlete (in any sport) has put in extensive training of both mind and body and has decided to progress past that average level of thinking.

They approach everything they do in life with a realistic observation of: here is where I am, I’ve gotten past them back there (this is not a dis in anyway but again an observation of what they have learned and are able to do), and those guys ahead are where I am wanting to go. Then they note what the people next to them are doing (what is working and not working for them and why they do what they do).

Then they really observe the people in front of them and try to take in as much as they possibly can, and they do compare it to where they are now and what they are doing. Last, they begin applying that new knowledge and wisdom they have gained and as a result improve significantly in their decision making, actions taken (training) and experience greater performance outcomes. And they do this process daily.

I’m going to switch gears here for just a second and go back to that Marathon post.

{edited to add these results}

Here is how people responded:

A few totally agreed. (shock for some of you I know)

A few tactfully (maturely) stated they disagreed but could see where I was coming from.

A couple simply shared it and could have cared less.

A handful made it clear they were very unhappy with the contents of the post and that somehow it was a direct reflection on me the writer. (keep reading)

And a suprising few dozen people went out of their way to viciously attack me and tell me I’m a terrible person for pointing out observations about people and things in life. (I actually expected a few nasty remarks – just not that many)

I want you to think for a moment about the varying levels of how people responded. And then go back to how the high level athlete approaches life with a learning mindset.

Now if all of the people who commented on my Marathon post were runners – which ones over the course of a few years of running will find the success  they are striving for (whatever their goals may be) and which ones will most likely not grow much from where they are now?

People who can observe life while setting their personal preferences aside and respond maturely are much more likely to achieve their goals for they have (and will continue) building the character and components for achieving higher levels of living/success.

In other words, they can observe without having an emotional personal reaction.

People who simply react out of emotions are more likely to fail.

The post about The Point of the Marathon was actually me giving readers a test, a way for you to receive a reflection of just how you are going about your life.

The post had nothing to do with my personal beliefs about running or races. It had to do with my deep internal desire to inspire people and get them to think about things differently. The thing is many people get stuck living life with blinders on, and it takes someone who cares enough and is bold enough to go about things in a different way to get people of all different backgrounds to look at things from new perspectives.

While there were some truths to that post, many people got caught up in it and forgot that it is just a blog post they were reading.

A key foundation that high level athletes do live with – life is what you make of it. People don’t just land on top of the success mountain, they have to work hard and climb to get there. Everyone starts out walking, and slowly builds to more and more running. Some people are content with 3 miles, some with 10 and a few (perhaps crazy in a good way) fools will never be satisfied with 100 miles of running as hard as they possibly can.

So if you have or are doing a more challenging race (whatever level that may be) of course do your best. But don’t settle. Keep raising that bar. Keep studying what those ahead of you are doing, they are ahead of you for a reason (they are doing things differently or simply have been at it longer).

And if you just want to do it for fun – remember to respect those who live and breathe for it. The ones who live and breathe for it respect everyone behind them (usually – unless their parked car is blocked in for another four hours but that’s another story).

What I hope you take away from this is the idea to start observing life around you, including yourself! Observe what others are or are not doing. Pay attention to whether you react or respond to others.

And if you do want to get better at something, really listen to those who have gotten good at it – you may not like what they tell you but there are always lessons within the message that you can walk away with and benefit from.

Now about that post. If you got something out of this one, go back to The Point of The Marathon. I actually buried some real success principles in there. If you caught them the first time – you are already a good observer (able to see past the surface) – great job! If you missed them (for whatever reason – or maybe got a little too worked up) go back and reread it.

See what you can really get out of the post besides the desire to overreact.

{Edited to add} By the way, if you’ve read my other running and success articles, you’d realize I actually am a decent person focused on building people up and helping them learn principles for success.

And I’m actually a solid writer too, I’m not afraid to toss firecrackers, or create an entire heated blog series that are embedded with tried and true tactics just to see who is really paying attention and wanting to learn. Sometimes a writer has to get creative with their methods to get points across. (That old adage ‘You can lead a horse to water but can’t make them drink’). And remember, what you read or even hear in songs is not always a true reflection of the writer behind it.

Great writers set themselves (beliefs/thoughts/etc) aside and pursue multiple routes for telling stories and teaching if they believe it will engage their reader and take them on an adventure and serves the writer’s purpose.

*This post is part of a continued series.  Part I – The Point of the Marathon (article)

Part II – you just read it.

Part III – A Higher Level of Living.

This series is the fuel and inspiration for the book The Point of the Marathon.” Available on Amazon.


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