The name Marathon comes from the legend of Pheidippides, a Greek messenger. The legend states that he was sent from the battlefield of Marathon to Athens to announce that the Persians had been defeated in the Battle of Marathon (in which he had just fought), which took place in August or September, 490 BC. It is said that he ran the entire distance without stopping and burst into the assembly, exclaiming “Νενικήκαμεν” (Nenikékamen, ‘We have won.’) before collapsing and dying.
It’s 6:30am on a Sunday. I am dressed like a young mom and ready to drive to Cypress, CA where I will be throwing a pretend birthday party for a group of child actors for a Party City industrial film. Thank goodness I checked my email before booking it out the door since I was notified after going to bed that my call time was pushed back an hour to 8:30am. No one is awake at this hour, at least not in the company I keep, so I’m doing the social media rounds, tweeting, facebooking, emailing, and now blogging. As I surf around on various sites updating sleeping followers I am reminded in my friend Lyle’s tweet that today is the LA Marathon.
I am jealous. I imagine standing cold and tired at a Metro Station buzzing with energy as runners spill in and out of the subway doors each with their number pinned to their chest. I imagine meeting my running group and making our way to start line, stretching and preparing my mind for hours of jogging down Los Angeles city streets! I know that most people won’t have that same reaction, but I have run in 2 marathons, Honolulu and Los Angeles, and I had a most positive experience with both. Many people think running a Marathon is something that motivated super people do, but I assure you that out of the thousands that gather before sunrise chilly and nervous with anticipation, most of them are not star athletes, but regular people, just like you and me.
Many people have placed “run in a Marathon” on their bucket list. If this is you, I encourage you to sign up with a charity and run with a purpose! I chose AIDS Project Los Angeles, after some research, and raised money for the organization in exchange for training an support.
Running with a charity is so rewarding. There are leaders and coaches that help you fund raise, find shoes, tackle the challenges of aches and pains, and provide group “long runs” on weekends, so the most treacherous training days (18 and 20 mile runs for instance) are more of a social gathering and celebration of success, than a dreaded and feared necessity.
I’m not one of those people who needs to run every marathon or improve my time, or even ever run another one. Not being pressed for time (I never care too much how long it will take to finish) makes trekking almost 27 miles through any city more of an invigorating challenge than anything else. Of course I love to walk and try to walk most places if have the time. I think walking and running around on foot is a primitive way to connect to the neighborhood you live in. There is something very old and wise about both walking and running.
Of course, as stated above by Wikipedia, the original marathon run was just one guy trying to deliver some good news after which he dropped dead from who knows what. Imagine if every time you had something to tell someone across town you had to run or walk there! I’m hard pressed to even get out of Hollywood for anything these days and I have a really comfortable Jetta that is temperature controlled and has my favorite music in it.
This morning I am thankful for the conveniences that modern technology has afforded me. I am feeling very blessed to be able to travel to Cypress, CA (30 miles from Hollywood) in about 40 minutes in comfort and without too much threat of harm. If there is traffic I will just imagine those thousands of achy motivated super people making their way around LA on foot. And when I arrive I will think of Pheidippides who didn’t have the luxury of delivering his message with such ease and subsequently paid his life to simply share some good news with his community.
The picture there is me on the training day where I ran 26 miles for APLA. See how happy I am? I encourage you to challenge yourself to do things that scare you and also things that you don’t think you can do. You may find out that YOU are a Motivated Super Human! I truly believe we all are 🙂
Love and Light,