A friend has recently decided to run marathons. He has never run one before in his life and isn’t really much of a distance runner at all. So I was curious as to why he thing he could run a marathon. He gold me it was all in the training. Besides getting better at running distances, he was training his mind to see the marathon not as one huge distance, instead he was going to celebrate each of the smaller successes. Such as running so many blocks or such.
He believes it is a case of mind over matter and pointed to me as an example of such training. His logic goes something like this, I have a chronic illness that has made me have to run a marathon of sorts. The difference is this illness didn’t give me a training plan or time to train. Instead I was just dropped into the thing and have no idea when it even ends.
To my friend’s way of thinking for someone who has not be provided any training I’m doing an incredible job at staying in the race. To his point, he says that other people would give up, simply drop or demand a cart to let gem finish their journey. Whereas I just keep plodding along with one foot in front of the other. No matter how tired I am or how much pain I feel I somehow drag myself through the marathon until I feel better and don’t have to drag myself so much as stumble.
Its flattering in some ways to know my acting skills have gotten better with time. I mean if my friend doesn’t see how hard it is to just put one foot in front of the other than I’ve done a good job at fooling him. If my friend also doesn’t see the sheer terror I feel at stopping and instead just sees me as determined then so be it. The reality versus the smile I present to others is my way of hiding and protecting them from what my marathon is really like.
Stopping would be easier, but at the same time what happens once you stop? Does a stop mean stopping for good and giving up? If it does, what do you do? This is why I plod on, trying to hide how horrible the struggling is at times. And if someone takes inspiration from it, fine. But people shouldn’t expect or compare themselves to each other. We all run our own marathon in our own way and sometimes it’s all I can do to lace up my shoes and find the path.