People generally seem impressed when I mention (not that often, I swear) that I’ve run/am running a marathon. For some reason, my kneejerk reaction is to try to downplay it and hype it up all at once.
“Oh, it’s really not that hard,” I say. “Anyone can do it,” I say. “It’s a mental game,” I say. “You could run one if you wanted!”
As a rule the person insists that they could not – understandably. But I really believe it: anyone can run a marathon. And I don’t even mean it in the pure Ratatouille sense, either; I don’t think a great marathoner can come from anywhere. I mean ANYONE CAN DO IT. Anyone at all.
Okay, there are medical exceptions, of course. And age requirements. But an otherwise reasonably healthy person can absolute run 26.2. All you need is the proper preparation in a good training plan and a strong mind.
Like I said, it’s a mental game. The only difference between a finisher and a DNF is: at the point where it sucked the most the finisher hated just as much but KEPT GOING ANYWAY.
But… is it true?
When I say anyone can do it, do I mean, like, at all costs, crawling on their knees? Do I mean anyone can do it and like it? Do they really not want to just because they think they can’t, or do they just, like, not want to?
Hang on, I’m all turned around. What am I trying to say, exactly?
I THINK what I’m trying to say is, I’m retiring this whole “anyone can run a marathon” stock response thing. Not because I don’t still believe there’s a certain amount of truth to it, but I feel like everyone already knows. They know they could if they wanted, and they have chosen not to, because they have other goals and ambitions, and that’s cool too. If someone wants to come run with me, they will self-select.
Besides, to look at it another way: maybe it, in fact, takes a special something to run a marathon, and for whatever reason, I’ve got it.
And hey, if people want to be impressed by my marathon record, well, who am I to stop them? 😂
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I do think most people could run a marathon if they wanted to – but it’s like so many things in life, right? There are a lot of things that seem almost impossible that we probably “could” do if we put in enough time and training and resources. But without the motivation to run a marathon, well, that would be a pretty miserable time 😉
Annnnd it can be a miserable time if you DO want to run one (looking at you, injury-plagued marathons 🤪)