According to the website, RunTri, the average time it takes to finish the Boston Marathon is four hours, eighteen minutes, and twenty-seven seconds. Some have taken almost six hours to complete the twenty-six mile course, while record setters have done it in just over two.
Photo credit: Morguefile
Most years, I couldn’t care less about it. I’ve never been a sports fan – and never will be. And except for the tragic bombings in 2013, I’ve never followed this either.
But one runner caught my attention this year…
Maickel Melamed, a thirty-nine year old man from Venezuela, is a teacher, motivational speaker, financing coach, and a physiotherapist. He also suffers from a form of Muscular Dystrophy that makes it hard for him to walk, much less compete in marathons. And yet he’s run in several.
When I saw Mr. Melamed cross the finish line, nearly twenty hours after he started, it touched something in me in a way that makes me ashamed of some of the things I allow to negatively affect an hour, or even a minute, of my day.
This man lives a full and active life, works hard, and puts his body through the wringer for events like this to raise money for charities. And he does it with a positive attitude.
I spend most of my waking hours shut up in my office, sitting in my fairly comfortable desk chair, typing away on my computer.
Yet some days, I can find a million things to complain about. It’s too hot. It’s too cold. People drive like maniacs. Other shoppers are rude and obnoxious. If only I could get a little more sleep. Jeez, my back hurts, or my head aches, or I can’t put five words down in the manuscript I’m working on, much less the five-thousand I wanted to write.
The list could go on and on and on….
Then I see a video about a man who could have looked at his lot in life and become a bitter, self-pitying person. But instead of seeing his limitations, he chose to focus on what he could do.
Much like the marathon, life is like a race. We can run it with grace and excellence like Mr. Melamed … or not. The choice is ours. If all we can see is lack and imperfection, happiness will always be just out of our reach.
But if we choose to focus on what we can do, on what is good, and there’s a lot of good for most of us, we’ll be able to look back at the end of our journey and say … I lived a great life!