I have never been much of a marathon runner but I am amazed at those who have the endurance to run marathons, especially those that are lengthy. The starting line of a race never really shows the hours that runners have put in to compete. What does reveal the conditioning and training is the finish line. A friend and her sister ran the Boston Marathon a few years ago, a feat of 26 miles (42 kilometers). The hours that they put into their training enabled them to complete the race and not just they, but those around them also celebrated the moment.
We can marvel at people who have gone the distance and been successful in life, regardless of their field of expertise. Those who sit in the comfort of their arm chair may speak of luck but not fully realize the hours invested to bring about success. Nor do arm chair quarterbacks realize the many lessons learned through failures and disappointments, Luck is often no more than hard work and preparing oneself for the opportunities ahead, so that when presented the person is ready for the challenge.
“The heights of great people reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight but they, while their companions slept toiled upward into the night” (Longfellow). There is seldom instant success in life. It requires toil and labor, sacrifice and sweat, failure and learning, perseverance and determination.
Heartbreak Hill, in the Boston Marathon, does not have the steepest grade in the many marathons available for runners. It is where it comes in the race, after runners have already ran twenty miles, Their bodies are tired and their muscles ache. It is then that they know whether their training has been sufficient to prepare them for this moment and the final push to the goal.
I know that if I attempted to do even a 5K race it would be nothing more than a hundred yard gasp. To compete or even complete, requires training and conditioning.
The victory does not often go to the swiftest, the strongest or the smartest but those who persevere, who put in the time necessary, even when the going gets tough. When tempted to quit, push through for your training will carry you and the reward of completion awaits you at the finish line.