“The race does not go to the swift… .” Ecclesiastes 9:11, International Standard Version Bible
I have participated in road races over the past four years. I was never the star track athlete at school, as my desire to run began in my thirties as a form of physical exercise. It grew from that to tracking my distance, time and calories smashed on each run. By no means am I a marathon runner. I simply do the 5ks for the personal joy it brings, sharing the event with friends and simply enjoying it. I enjoy the hype on the day, watching the more experienced athletes – the pros – go through their paces and get warmed up; marching up and down, doing light jogs and stretches. Some others will stretch, make sure their laces are all tied and stick their Beats headphones on.
Where am I in all this, you asked? I am usually standing off to the side chatting with my friends, mentally preparing myself with the fact that whether I run it all or walked in between I would make sure I cross the finish line. Other than that, I stand observing the situation above. Marveling. Thinking. Comparing the race preparation to life, really.
Isn’t it like life? These races and the preparation we sometimes do? The laying of a foundation to reap solid rewards?
We run or walk through this life. Some will go faster than others and finish with stellar results. Nothing but the best is expected as they have put in long hours to get to this point and will not be satisfied with just any position but #1.
There others whose eyes might not be fixed on the tangible results, a medal or ribbon at the finishing tape; but are zealous about the experiences gained along the way which will shape them, fashion them into who they wish to become.
There is an old adage which says that the race is not for the swift but for those who can endure it to the end. Similarly, the Ecclesiastes 9:11 verse quoted above reinforces the thought that marathons, just like life, are for those who stick it out to the end.
I mentioned earlier that my warm-up is usually a mental one. I set my mind to envision the end. I tell myself that I must finish. I read once that even with all the race day physical prepping, mental muscle is important to a marathon runner. Elite runners must train train their minds, think positively and put those positive thoughts into the atmosphere. It is bad enough to have to deal with possible race day issues like blisters or upset stomach, and to also battle with negativity and self-doubt.
Just like a marathon, life will also have its BLISTERS but once we set our minds to completing what is ahead, we stand a better chance of enduring to the end.
My sage advice: You can win as long as you do not quit!
*Main image found here