Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Lessons Learned from My First Marathon

I did my first full marathon (42.1 km)! And I thought of reflecting about the lessons I learned from this experience. But first, let me connect the dots in a chronological order:
  • Quit Facebook in (2008 maybe?)
  • Had to look for something else. Joined Flickr and came across the photo below, which encouraged me to cut the pile of wood we had (and enhanced my fitness level)
  • Played Muay Thai for six months (thanks Abraj)
  • Watched Rocky and got inspired by him jogging in the streets of Philadelphia
  • October, 2009: first fun run (10 km), learned half of our potential is hidden
  • April, 2012: first half marathon (21 km), learned that performance can improve in multiple dimensions
  • November, 2013: first full marathon (42.1 km). Although my result was not decent, I am so glad I did it, lessons are below..
pre winter works

Somewhere around the 30 km point a guy seemed to be in pain, I gave him a pat as I went on. A couple of km later, my legs started to hurt so bad and I stopped to do some helpless stretching, I got a pat on my back! It was the same guy I passed by earlier.I got my push and joined him. Ricardo is an American from Panama, we kept motivating each other for the remaining distance of the marathon and we crossed the finish line together. He told me that he was just about to quit when my pat encouraged him to go on.

Lesson #1: What goes around comes around
Lesson #2: Do not underestimate what small gestures can do to others
Lesson #3: You can do an average challenge by your own, but for a tough challenge you would probably need someone besides you
Lesson #4: Running is a universal language
Lesson #5: Doing a marathon requires proper preparation, planning and some sacrifices
Lesson #6: As Emil Zatopek says "If you want to win a race, run a mile. If you want to experience life, run a marathon"

It happens that I was wearing this shirt in the race. I figured out that the millage for the races I ran wearing this shirt is 103 km, which also reminds me of the number of years Circassians fought before being expelled from their homeland (101 years).

No Sochi Olympics
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