In 2010 I decided to run my first marathon.
Up until that point I don’t even remember running more than a couple hundred feet at a time.
But in May 2010 I set out to run 26.2 miles – the San Diego marathon.
The event was only six weeks away. So I hired a running coach and the training began.
On the day of the marathon I questioned my sanity as I waited in my corral to cross the starting line.
I couldn’t believe that I was about to run an entire marathon… 26.2 miles.
The first 10 miles of the run were OK.
By mile number 15 the cramping in my calves, quads and hamstrings set in – hard!
This must be “hitting the wall” that I’ve heard about.
By mile number 18 the self-doubt and negative self talk had set in.
Why did I choose to run a marathon?
I’ve got a functioning vehicle that I could drive 26.2 miles in, what the fu#k is wrong with me?!
I’m designed to lift heavy weights not to run long distance, why would I ever consider running this stupid marathon?
I should’ve trained longer than six weeks, I should’ve trained for the marathon in the following year.
By mile number 22 I was seeing people going into full physical cramps on the side of the road and dropping out of the race.
The only thing that was running through my mind was to fake a fall and end the race, too.
That way I can blame something hobble away with a little bit of my dignity still intact.
By mile number 23 I could feel the grinding in my left knee from the two ACL reconstruction surgeries a few years earlier.
I was in physical pain. That alone would’ve been fine because I have a very high pain tolerance.
But I was also cramping up and practically limping and shuffling along and I could see others staring at me and wondering what was happening to me as they passed me by.
It was right about at mile number 24 that I started seeing the shuttles and the taxis alongside the roads.
The sign read $5 dollars for a ride to the finish line.
They were there to take people quit giving up to the finish line so that they can grab their belongings and go home.
There was approximately one taxi or shuttle every 100 yards or so and all of them had a sign in the back windshield that read $5 dollars to the finish line.
I could see people limping towards the shuttles and cabs and taking the $5 offer…
… I suppose that at that point you’re too far gone and mentally defeated to give a shit.
One part of my mind was attempting to justify why I should do the same, after all, I had gone over 24 miles already and I’d proven that I can run long distance.
What exactly is another 2.2 miles going to get me?
The other part of my mind continued to remind me that if I gave in now, about 2 miles away from the finish line, I could never say that I ran a marathon.
I’d never feel the satisfaction of running a full marathon and crossing that finish line.
I would always carry the memory of giving up in the final homestretch and that would set the tone for the rest my life from that day forward.
I don’t remember exactly what I was saying to myself in my head over and over again, but I can tell you that it was a rhythmic phrase that I used to occupy my mind and push the negative thoughts out.
It was probably something like this: keep going, just one more step, keep going, just one more step.
It was all I could do to keep my mind busy to keep from faking an injury (which at that point in time the injury would not have been faked at all LOL) and so that I wouldn’t think about giving up and limping over to the $5 shuttles.
The last 1.2 miles of the marathon was marked by 1/10 mile markers.
You wouldn’t think the twelve 1/10 mile markers would take forever, but I swear to you it felt like an eternity getting to the next marker, and then the next, and then the next.
I don’t know how it happened but I somehow crossed that finish line on my own 2 feet.
Maybe it was sheer willpower.
Maybe it was sheer stupidity.
Maybe it was anger and rage (there was a lot of that in my head in that moment).
Or maybe it was faith and hope.
Or maybe just sheer stubbornness.
One way or another I had managed to cross that finish line and I had completed all 26.2 miles in under five hours – which was my personal goal.
Since that time I see marathons everywhere, both in life and in business.
There’s always a Finishline to cross.
Maybe it’s the end of the week.
Or maybe it’s the end of the month.
Maybe it’s a long drive or an even longer plane trip around the world.
Maybe it’s a birthdate, or an anniversary.
Maybe it’s pounds lost, or pounds of muscle gained.
Maybe it’s a financial goal.
Or maybe it’s just a desire to buy house or to save a certain amount of money in an account for peace of mind and security.
Maybe it’s lives changed and clients impacted.
There’s a finish line everywhere.
And where there is a finish line there’s always one of two choices.
There’s the choice to quit and give up or the choice to persevere and to forge ahead.
That day in June 2010 when I ran and finished the San Diego marathon after training only six weeks was probably one of the best life lessons and business lessons I’ve ever gotten.
It was that day that I realized that I had 100% control over the outcome of everything I do.
That was the day that I chose to take ownership and responsibility of all things in my life and business.
There’s a finish line everywhere my friends – never forget that.