Who Would Ever Run a Marathon ?

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DrTimMaggs.com

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For anyone who's ever crossed that fine line, the one that only takes 26.2 miles to get to, and now owns the title of "marathon finisher", you've probably been asked this question many times. The insinuations in the question are that anyone who would ever consider running a marathon borders on insanity or down right lunacy. Well, do you want to know what I think?

I think ...
  • The marathon should be a requirement for all kids graduating high school today. All kids would have to complete a marathon before graduating, or would have to work 40 hours a week doing community clean up (for free) until they do complete one.
  • The marathon should become part of an incentive program for prisoners who want early release.
  • The first treatment for anyone with high blood pressure, weight problems, psychological disorders, bowel problems, upper respiratory difficulties, self-esteem issues or anxiety disorders should not be medication or group therapy, but to complete a marathon.
  • If anyone is caught being a bully in life, regardless of age, we should have some legislative body we can report them to and this body has the authority to convict this individual and sentence them to run a marathon. Arrogance is bad, humility is good. Marathons promote humility.
  • Anyone sentenced to "community service" must run a marathon. What better community service could be achieved than to get someone in the community healthier, both mentally and physically?
  • More serious crimes might require 2 marathons in one year, a sentence that would not allow any time off from training. (Whoa, would this be an inconvenience for someone not used to working out?)
  • There should be a 50% discount on all health insurance premiums with proof-of-running a marathon each year.
  • Community leaders and politicians should be required to run a marathon each year, rather than annoying everyone by going door-to-door making promises they're unable to keep. A marathon will continually encourage "honest work" instead of more rhetoric the world doesn't need. Leading by example has always proven to be successful.
  • Any family owning more than one vehicle must all run a marathon in order to get registrations for every vehicle over one.
  • All policemen and firemen must run one marathon per year to be able to continue wearing a badge.
  • Anyone who isn't happy in life, can't figure out why life isn't giving back the way it should and is looking for that bigger house, perfect soul-mate or winning lottery ticket, join in and run a marathon. I'm sure you'll find the answer somewhere along the way.

From my vantage point, there are 2 causes of unhappiness and poor health, the lack of drive and discipline. With technology bringing so much excitement into every room in our house, why would anyone ever need to leave the house for fun? And the media is continually telling us to take this pill or that because "you haven't got time for the pain", but the cold truth is, it's all painful. Life hurts too much these days, and on too many fronts. The marathon solves these problems in a flinch. It re-introduces us to drive and discipline, for, as we know, there are no shortcuts to crossing that finish line. You must pay the price for a long enough period of time, or cross that line, you won't.

The training phase is the backbone of this program and the direct reason for improved happiness. Our social lives improve by joining a regular group to go on our weekly runs. We talk, listen and become the person we thought we used to be, happy and interesting. All social stigmas disappear, as we all become runners seeking the same goal. We're no longer lawyers, doctors, teachers or housewives living according to some bogus pecking order society has created. We revolve our days around our training schedule, giving us something to look forward to at the beginning of the day and something to be proud of by the end of the day. And we all inherently know this powerful fact--we're doing something that most people will never have the guts to try. We're running a marathon. Our self-esteem goes up dramatically. In fact, isn't the scale looking a little kinder these days? Those clothes that just never seemed to fit on that Monday-morning diet plan all of a sudden fit perfectly. The big clincher in this life-altering metamorphis a person goes through occurs on that first day that someone asks you "Have you lost weight?". There's no turning back now!

And the day we cross that finish line, the day we complete the journey we started 6 or 8 or 10 months earlier, that's the day we can't wait to start all over again on our next chapter.
For what we learn is one simple fact, "Who wouldn't want to run a marathon?"


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Dr. Tim Maggs

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