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Health Wellness

The Lessons I Learned From Running A Marathon

Hint: it was not how to solve world peace.

The Lessons I Learned From Running A Marathon

I ran my first marathon when I was 17 years old. 26.2 miles later I had no feelings in my legs except for shooting agony.

After the race, with a fine selection of granola bars and bananas, I opted for a cup of cold cookie ice cream to drain my painful sorrows. I felt victorious? Sure.

But I was more focused on getting a shower, eating a veggie burger, and sleeping for the next three days.

Despite the pain it took to walk to my car after the race, I did learn about myself through this running journey. Nothing monumental though. I didn't discover that I could cure cancer or solve world peace.

On a simple note, I discovered that I really did love Oreos and pretzels which were offered during the race.

I learned the comfort of puddles to cool of your feet, and I really appreciated the occasional chipmunk scurrying across the path out of the way of crazy marathon runners. I found that running a glide stick between your thighs is useful to prevent rubbing rashes, and I founded a dozen invention ideas for what runners need while running crazy distances.

I was inspired to write my first book, and I felt like I could be successful anywhere, doing anything. My ivy league rejection fears began to fade at mile 20 as I came to realize my own personal strength that is independent of an institution. My insecurities faded.

Although a few things remain, as everyone struggles with some things they don't like about themselves, I began to realize that they had no power over my body, they had no power over my brain. It took about four hours for me to finish the race.

I learned that I can indeed continue through massive physical suffering and I learned how to tell my brain to do what feels impossible: just lie to it. I told my brain that I only had 10 miles to run, a bonus of three for fun and then to "just do it all one more time." I had to section it off to not scare myself into collapsing.

Running a marathon made me feel free, but it wasn't the single act of running a 4 hour race that made me change. It was the work I put in every day.

It was the motivation to do something to prove to my mind that I could overcome, and beyond that… I really wanted younger girls to look up to me and see that when life takes away opportunities to do the things you love, in my case ballet, there are still opportunities out there waiting to be seized.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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