Why You Should NEVER Run a Marathon…

1. It’s named after an event where the person who ran the full distance died at the end.

2. It takes too much time!

3. It consumes your life.

4. It’s really not that fun.

5. It’s an investment $$

Here I sit about two weeks away from running (at least trying to run) my first marathon and I’m still not sure what I got myself into.

It all started over coffee, that stinkin’ delicious nectar from the earth. There I was listening to a member of Team World Vision talk about presenting to our church an invitation to run the Chicago Marathon to help raise money to provide clean water to villages in Africa. A very noble task indeed. I listened to this first hand example of how taking the bold step to sign up, train, raise money, and run changed this guy’s life.

As I listened and drank my coffee I had this thought in the back of my mind. I had just found out weeks before that my wife Brooke was pregnant with our 3rd child. I thought about the added responsibilities and, as any dumb man’s thought comes, I thought, “If I don’t run a marathon now, will I ever?”

Here’s the catch, I have never desired to run a marathon in my entire life. I actually actively mocked people who made the decision. “I don’t know why you would ever do that.” “It’s not good for your body; it only hurts it.” “Who would ever PAY to run 26.2 miles?”

But there I was thinking about life up ahead and a call to action came over me; I should do this. Jacked up on my caffeine high of the coffee bean I thought, I must do this! Yes, I shall do this, and it’s for an amazing cause!

Well, since that day I’ve been ALL IN, and I’ll be honest it hasn’t been fun. In fact it’s really only brought stress, exhaustion, and injury into my life…

Over the past three months I’ve gone from being scared I could never run 10 miles to an overwhelming feeling of joy of how easy it was to run 10 miles. But after 10 miles, my appendix disagreed with me and I had to have an appendectomy. I counted down the doctor’s orders of ‘Two weeks no running’ and there I was back on the pavement exactly two weeks after surgery.

After a week of short runs I was back to 10 miles and kicking the trails like I was hungry for more. 12, 16, 18 miles! I can do this…

Then my knee decided to speak on my body’s behalf…maybe you can’t.

Here’s where I sit, I’ve been to more doctors this past year than I have in the past 10 years. I’m in Physical Therapy and yesterday I hit the low of this might not happen, but then I woke up this morning, had another cup of coffee, did my PT time and I’m now convinced that nothing is going to hold me back.

I tell you this not because I want a pity party; I did this to myself. Not to get a pat on the back, it’s really a dumb idea to run a marathon. I tell you this to be honest about the difficulty of this thing but also to tell you, I wouldn’t take it back.

There has been a lot of learning lessons in this training. There has been a lot of trusting. There has been a lot of waiting. But when I’m all in, I’m ALL IN.

I also tell you this because honestly all of these problems are first world issues. Throughout this whole thing I have never struggled to find clean drinking water. In fact on the Lake Shore Drive running path there is a drinking fountain at almost every mile. Here is the difference, anytime I was somewhat thirsty, I stopped and drank clean water, the people in these villages in Africa have to walk miles just to get dirty water to drink.

A thousand children die a day because of health conditions caused by unclean water. It’s not medicine for diseases that will end this but it’s going to the source and creating clean water wells that will stop these deaths. To find more information watch this video:

The thought through all of this that there are people who daily struggle to find clean water is devastating. Every fountain I pass is a reminder of the reason I’ll run. So if anything I’ll gladly wreck my body to help with this problem.

Join me on this journey, give a few bucks to World Vision, help provide clean water where drinking water is so difficult to obtain. Even if it’s just a $1, you are making a difference.

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