The Power of 20

You know, it’s funny…

I was getting very nervous about my upcoming NYC Marathon. And although I have run twenty marathons, coming back from an injury that sidelined me for so long had me scared.

(Let’s just say this – an Achilles tear is simply no fun.)

Because it’s been so long since I have run far.  I’ve been scared.  Very scared.

Frightened.

Frightened of the training runs, terrified of the marathon.

I have to say that on more than one occasion I very seriously considered backing out of the race, but I knew I also couldn’t do that because I will be delivering some sermons at the Ecumenical Service Tent at the start.  They need me there and I need to honor my commitment to this.

But still I was scared and frightened and very concerned about all of this.  I was worried that my days as a long distance runner were behind me.

And then, yesterday, on a dark rainy Saturday morning,  I jumped on my treadmill and slowly, and deliberately, plodded through, step-by-step, and ran…20 miles.

That run, a run that took me three hours and twenty-five minutes, changed everything.

I went from being scared to being confident.  I, once again, feel like I can do anything.

I CAN do anything!

The race is three weeks away.

I wish it were tomorrow.

New York City, here I come.

(I love the New York City Marathon!)

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At 50, I’m Back To 40

It may seem like this passage is about running, but it’s not.  It’s about me and you and all of us.  The place where the idea was born, though, came out of running.  Stick with me, you’ll understand in a moment…

While I have always tried to push myself to do things that I didn’t think were possible, and sometimes succeeded (but just as often failed), and while I have always believed that I could do anything (and I do believe we all can), I am sometimes (believe it or not) hampered by self-doubt.

This all might sound like a contradiction, but it isn’t.  As we push to attain new goals, part of us often wonders if that new goal is possible.  I’m a big believer in trying.  I like to go for it, but as I do, there are times when I wonder if attaining the goal is even possible. 

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Possibility is Everything

Well, I have finally done it.  I think I came up with the title of my next book, the follow-up to Impossible is an Illusion.  

I think the title my next book will be Possibility is Everything.  

Right now, I really like that title.  The words, short, succinct, and precise sum up much of my philosophy on life.  I think it also goes extremely well with Impossible is an Illusion.  In that text, I explain and demonstrate that people can do things they never thought possible by trying, believing, giving their best efforts, and by never giving up. 

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Input and Output

It was a cold, bitterly cold, November morning in 2002.  After many months of training, I sat, shivering, at Fort Wadsworth in Staten Island awaiting the start of the New York City Marathon – my first such race.  The feeling of anticipation and excitement was palpable.  I was eager, and deathly afraid, to begin.  I had never run 26.2 miles – not even in my training.  I didn’t know what would happen to me on the streets of New York…

In short, what happened was that my life was changed.  Radically and forever.  It was on those streets of New York that I became a marathon runner.  I became a champion.  I became a warrior. I became something I hadn’t ever been before.

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Day #1

 I have run a countless number of races in my life.  Yes, this includes 20 marathons.  (I always keep an accurate count of my marathons.)

I love to run.

I have often stated that the marathon defines me. 

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Sometimes You Can’t?

Sometimes we can’t accomplish what we set our minds to do.

Sometimes impossible isn’t an illusion… it is real.  Or, at least it seems real.  We strive, we reach, we try – and we fall short, we stumble, we fall.  We reach and try again.  And fall and fail.  We fall and fail and fail again.  Or so it seems…

Sometimes the goal, whatever it is, seems too hard, too distant, too impossible.  We say, “I can’t.”  We say, “It’ll never happen.”  

What then?

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The New York City Marathon 2016

This blog post will be a little different than the others.  It might not end up as a coherent passage with one main theme.  More, it’s a stream-of-conscious recollection of my experiences at this year’s New York City Marathon.

As I am writing this passage a week after I ran, I’m sure some of the most poignant and special things that I wanted to remember have been lost among the crowds, thrills, and emotions of this wonderful and inspiring annual event.

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Success or Failure?

I’m training for a marathon.  This will be my 20th marathon.  I’m excited and eager to get to the line and run this race.  I think it will be my best race in a long time.

There’s only one problem.

The race is 34 weeks away.

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