Monday, April 22, 2013

Go the Distance

I was on vacation last week, since it was MA school vacation week. I got back to work this morning and saw the 400+ emails waiting for me. There were the daily work updates, spam, a few emails that needed responses and the news updates.  I also subscribe to a few email newsletters and one of these caught my eye.

Paul Hellman taught a public speaking class at my office.  I enjoyed the class, and apparently made an impression with my opening line of "Half my group quit". (that's a story for another day.  He sends out weekly "Energize in 30 Seconds" tidbits to get you thinking.  The tidbit from Thursday, April 18th really spoke to me and I wanted to share it.  He doesn't have it on his website, so I've copied it here.  Please share, but attribute it to Paul.

Go the distance
by Paul Hellman

Go the distance.

I'm working at home today.  Or attempting to.

If you live in Boston, and even if you don't, your attention keeps getting pulled back to Monday's Boston Marathon.

You heard the news, you saw the pictures, you feel the heartache.  And you think, the Boston marathon, this glorious event, will never be the same.

But consider:  A marathon is about going the distance, no matter what.  It's the hero's journey.

I've never run a marathon.  But I run almost daily.  Running, I used to tell my kids when they lived at home, solves about 20 problems, 10 of which you never knew you had.

You may not feel like running, but running teaches you to ignore that feeling.  Running is action.  You put on your sweats, lace up your sneaks, and start moving.

People have been running, of course, for thousands of years.
Some days, it feels like that's been you, the entire time.

Marathon, a Greek town, was a battlefield in 490 BC.  The Greeks expected defeat, they were outnumbered.  Afterwards, a messenger was sent to Athens.  He ran a long way, got to the assembly, and said, "We won."

Then he collapsed and died.

That's the story anyway (Wikipedia).  Maybe it happened, maybe it didn't.

But you and I know the truth about marathons.  It takes grit to run one.  And it takes grit, after a day like Monday, to keep moving.

Every marathon that ever was, and every marathon that ever will be, delivers the same message:


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