Lessons from a Marathon Debut
Today our middle son Adrian joined 25,000 other runners to run his first marathon in the Scotiabank course in downtown Toronto and along the beautiful Toronto waterfront. Although our sons, including dad, have been competitive runners, only Adrian has had the gumption to invest the time, energy, focus and tenacity it takes to execute the ‘classic distance’ of some 26 miles 385 yards.
Adrian’s training began in earnest last winter and he logged thousands of miles since then mixing those miles with ‘roadwork’, ‘speed training’, ‘long runs’ and other cross training. Oh ya, he has also employed the services of an excellent coach and runner, Megan Brown, who adeptly wove together a series of workouts throughout the last six months. Adrian followed his coach’s advice and exhortation to the tee. Adrian has been wonderfully coachable, and a coach himself on the club he runs with and for.
In my work as a life, ministry and business results coach, I love when I have a ‘coachable client’, one who doesn’t ‘ya but’ their way through the whole coaching call. Of course, there are times coach and coachee need to dialogue and trust each other, but at the end of the day, the coachee will be best served by following the coach’s direction, which they have agreed upon together.
Of course, for those of us who don’t run at the level of those runners who are blessed with what appears to be ‘superhuman’ talent, we can still benefit from our own race. The most important lesson for me is that marathon training not only builds your capacity for a long run, but it also develops you in your spirit, soul and body, to crash through other quitting points in life, be they relational, career, relational or spiritual.
Very rarely does a marathon runner ‘feel good’ for the whole run, so developing the capacity to crash through quitting points is a non negotiable virtue.
Not only did Adrian achieve a personal goal today in competing in and completing his first marathon, he inspired our whole family to keep on chasing after our dreams and goals. Adrian’s example was huge for all of us. After the race over lunch and while we watched Adrian limp and crawl around the house, we were all talking about what our next challenge would be and it was all because we watched our son, our brother, our husband, our father, our son in law, our friend, do something that was difficult, challenging, fulfilling all at the same time.
Just before the race Adrian tweeted us a favourite line from his all time favourite movie “Hoosiers’. In that movie Jimmy Chipwood, one of the most silent characters says in reference to an important basket he needs to make, “I’ll make it!”, which is exactly what Adrian did, “He made it!”
Seconds from a 2:54:15 finish.
Celebrating with his bride Amy and proud son, Jakey.