I think there's something in New Providence's water supply. Seriously, when I look through my Facebook friends (specifically people I went to high school with), there is a seriously disproportionate number of serious athletes. Marathon runners, triathletes, cyclists, distance swimmers, cross-country skiers, rock climbers . . . you name the grueling event, I can point you to a former classmate that participates. In fact, for most of the above, I can list at least 3 or 4 individuals. This person biked across the country. That person has run four marathons. This person has not only completed, but has been competitive in half-Iron Mans. That person popped out three kids and would probably qualify for the olympic triathlon team if it weren't for her fear that she'll be eaten by a shark in the open water.
My graduating class was 94 people. It seriously feels like there are significantly more endurance athletes that I went to school with than non-endurance athletes.
I'm not running this marathon to join the ranks of my classmates.
People participate in endurance events for great causes. However difficult it is to run 26.2 miles, or bike 100+, or swim until you're pretty sure your skin is so saturated that it will just fall off your body, that's nothing compared to overcoming breast cancer, or fighting diabetes every day, or living with an physically abusive spouse, or losing a loved one to prostate cancer. For some people, the act of waking up, getting out of bed, and trying to "live a normal life" requires more effort, perseverance, and inner strength than the world could ever know.
I'm not running this marathon to raise money or awareness for a noble cause.
I am running this marathon for myself. Somewhere along the way, I told myself that I could do this. And, at that point, it became mandatory. In five days, I'm going to show myself that I can set a goal and do it - even a seemingly impossible goal if you knew the John of a few years ago.
I don't care about my time. I don't care where I finish. The only thing that matters is that I will have traveled twenty-six miles and three hundred eighty-five yards, powered by nothing but my own two feet. I will do this. And I will allow myself to be proud of the feat.