With all the talk of government shutdowns, people being denied health care and porn being illegal in St. George (don’t worry—that was just a hoax), it’s sometimes hard to find something positive on which to focus.
Thank heaven the St. George Marathon is just days away.
Nothing rids my life, and the lives of others, of drama better than a nice, long race. Yeah, it’s a lot of hard work, and it takes a lot out of you, but I dare anyone to give me an example of a more positive sport.
I never considered myself an athlete until a couple of years ago. I didn’t particularly enjoy sports because I’ve never witnessed friendly competition. No matter which sport I tried, there was always someone who was mad at me because I wasn’t fast or agile enough.
Sportsmanship is just a word in the athletics I’ve witnessed or been a part of. Teams hate each other. There’s no softer way to put it.
Yes, there’s exceptions for everything, so forgive my sweeping generalization.
When I ran my first marathon, I didn’t see any angry competition. In fact, it seemed like the biggest competitors racers have are themselves. Although there are a few people who carry the jerk baton wherever they go, the majority of runners will cheer each other on to win.
You’d be hard pressed to find a marathoner who wouldn’t cheer for every runner right down to the last person to cross the finish line. You don’t find that in any other sport.
A runner’s outlook on life is usually a lot more positive, as well.
When you look at the structure of a race, you’ll see it’s not too different from life itself. Participants all go at different speeds, and the ultimate goal is to simply finish. Some finish stronger than others. Some have to stop a few times along the way. Some people bite off a little more than they can chew, but they’ll often give it another go. And like life, some people quit early on.
Then there are aspects of marathons that life should try and mimic. Instead of trying to win by trampling on others, what we should be doing is building each other up and winning together.
We should cheer each other on, give each other support, and focus on finishing the race rather than stopping the race for others. Yes, we should be in competition, but our biggest competitors must be ourselves.
While I’m not a seasoned marathoner by any means, I count myself as one of them, for sure.
Those of you who think success is only achieved by beating someone else get this review: You’re rated with five out five consecutive years as a spectator at the St. George Marathon. You’ll watch as runners cross the finish line. There’s no name calling. There’s no belittling. There’s no tackling or stealing or tripping or hitting. We all support each other, even if we’re still in it to win it.
Those of you who already get the gist of succeeding without destroying someone else, you’re rated with five out of five races won — against yourself, of course.
And please, while you’re winning the marathon or while you’re cheering everyone on, look for me in my Batman cape.