5 Ways Running a Marathon Teaches About Life

Back in 2012, I ran my first (and only, as of now) full marathon in Dallas, TX. For me, it wasn’t easy. I didn’t pay attention to my finishing time because I didn’t care. I just wanted to complete the run. I’m slow, but I made it. And I wore that shiny sweaty finisher’s medal with pride.

Looking back, the marathon taught me much about myself. It taught me five important life lessons as well. Here they are:

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1 – Always prepare wisely.

Thankfully at the time of the marathon, I was in pretty good shape. I didn’t give myself enough time to train properly, so I had to skip some stepping stones on the progression chart.

When event day arrived, I was sort of prepared. I had ran twenty miles a couple weeks earlier, so I knew I could finish the famous 26.2. But improper preparation led to some serious pain and misery during the run.

Whatever your goal is – prepare the right way. Give yourself plenty of time to progress and learn. Because going from zero to one hundred in anything in life is not good for the mind and body.

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2 – Music is a life saver.

Figuratively and literally.

I wouldn’t have finished that marathon without music. I doubt I would have made it halfway without songs to motivate my tired soles.

Not just in running, but with all aspects of life – music gets us through it all. There’s a song for every mood, every occasion, every feeling, every relationship – it’s perfect. Music keeps us from going absolutely insane. It distracts us from the mundane parts of life and excites the rhythm of our souls.

Music helped me finish that marathon. It also helped me finish college. recover from bad habits, and meet some great friends.

Music is Life.

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3 – Keep moving forward.

Literally in a marathon, the only think you can do is keep moving forward. Maybe you have to stop and walk, get some water, use the bathroom, or stretch, but you’ll always return to that motto of moving on.

Take one more step. Run ten more yards. One more mile. Two more songs.

Whatever motivates you to keep going in life, hold onto that for as long as you can. All we can do in this mysterious universe is keep taking steps forward. Life goes on. The race goes on. Time goes on. So we have to go on.

When you’re in pain and all you want to do is give up – keep moving forward. Always.

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4 – We’re all in this together.

Maybe the first one hundred people in the marathon cared about beating others. Most of us there either wanted to finish or beat our own personal times. We didn’t care if a thousand people finished before us. Comparison is useless when the goal is to meet a personal goal.

So if a person falls or fails, help her up. Let someone run ahead if has nothing to do with your own goal. Once you cross the finish, cheer for others that are coming afterward.

In life, we’re all in this together. We don’t have to compare and compete with anyone but ourselves. Congratulate others in their successes and encourage those who are struggling. We are one massive, giant team of people trying to live life and be happy.

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5 – Our bodies are fascinating.

You will never know how strong and awesome the human body is until you push yourself to the limits.

How can we be so mean and judgmental of our bodies when they can do all these fascinating things?

I’m not saying you have to run a marathon to see how amazing your body is. It’s awesome right now because it’s going to adapt and adjust to your personal lifestyle. You want to run twenty miles? Your body will increase its cardiac output so you can go further. You want to eat processed food? Your liver will detoxify the chemicals. You want to live in a very hot place? Your body will increase its tolerance to heat.

The human body is amazing. It’s a biological masterpiece. Be grateful for it and be kind to it.

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Marathons are madness, and people out there even do much more than run 26.2 miles. It’s a good goal, if you’re interested. It taught me how strong I can be – mentally and physically. And to recap what it taught me about life – prepare wisely, move forward, listen to music, we’re all in this together, and the human body is a wonder of science.

On geographical note, I was able to see A LOT of Dallas I had never seen before. Run twenty miles in any city and surely you’ll see a lot of details you normally miss in a car.

Thanks for reading. I hope your day is filled with joy and pleasant music.

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