The Second Time’s a Charm
When I decided to run the marathon for the first time, it prompted many to say, “Wow, are you crazy?” Although I never readily admitted the answer to this question, I pondered it often. Now that I am doing it for a second time around let me tell you, no one is asking for me for a self evalution on my sanity level. Wonder why? ‘Cause the answer is obvious…I am. Anyone who freely elects to run 26.2 miles not once, but, twice, is. What’s the old phrase…fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me? I think you get my gist.
So, what motivates someone to run 26.2 miles when we have modern inventions like cars, buses and trains? What causes someone to subject their body to the physical pain involved in the intense training process? What allows someone to override this pain with the power of their own mind? Most importantly, as my husband always asks, “Why run if not chased?”
The answer for all marathon runners is a bit different. However, for me, it was the toxic concoction of Maya Angelou’s poem, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”, the hit reality series “The Biggest Loser,” and Malcom Gladwell’s novel Blink, a book dedicated to the power of making decisions without actually knowing that you are thinking. Gladwell coined the phrase thin-slicing, which is essentially using a narrow amount of information and then acting on your gut reaction, which will warrant the best decision.
While watching an episode of the Biggest Loser where the four finalists ran the marathon, I was overwhelmed with tears of joy for the contestants. Only a few short weeks ago, most of them were double their size and now they were running the marathon. Although I have never myself been that heavy, I did used to live my life in a body 35 pounds heavier than what I am right now. I hated the way I looked, which in turn, caused me to start to hate who I was. I dreamed that one day I would be as happy as my skinny friends. Through a lot of hard work, this day has finally come. As the four contestants crossed the finish line, I knew that I had to run this marathon, not only for me, but for the children who ride Get On The Bus.
The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom. -Maya Angelou
Thank you once again to all those of you who have been supporting me both morally and financially. I appreciate all your encouraging comments and e-mails. Keep them coming. A special thank you to Joe’s cousins Rebecca and Steve Dutka and my friend Caitlin Durham for your donations!