I began to wonder why this is important to me, why completing a marathon is a goal that I have (and have had as long as I can remember, post-college, anyway). And it came to me, I want to run a marathon because it really doesn't matter how good I am at it. A long time ago (or at least it feels that way) I was in a place in life where I felt that I had to be athletic to be accepted. Two of the men in my life were and are serious athletes. I still can't believe what my Dad's 62 year old body can do. Mine can't do some of the things he can. Sadly, I was not blessed with a particularly athletic gene pool. At least not for the sports that I was trying. But I never gave up, I kept trying.
And then I discovered that when you grow up and become an adult, you compete against yourself, for yourself, to see what you are capable of. It doesn't matter now if I can make the most free throws (which I never could) or if I can serve the ball overhand (which I never have been able to master). I just have to try. I just have to not quit.
Which sounds so easy.
We all live in a time where we are not always encouraged to do the hard thing, to take it easy, that life doesn't have to be a struggle. I know that in my life, I don't grow when I take the easy way out.
All of these things come together to form my basis for why. People who run marathons aren't all perfect runners or even perfect athletes. Some take a long time to complete the distance. For some it is hard. For all it requires perseverance. But it is not a race of me against all those others.