15 Inspiring Lessons my First Marathon has Taught me

Last February 1, 2015, I ran my first 42km, the Condura Skyway Marathon: I Run For A Hero. Honestly, it was an overwhelming and humbling experience. Aside from the usual Slow, Long Distance run which builds up the endurance, I also had speed training and of course, resting periods. It was exhausting but it is all worth it in the end. Overall it was a life-changing experience. Here are the 15 inspiring lessons my first marathon has taught me.

The 15 Life-Lessons my First Marathon has Taught Me

I’ve learned that finishing a marathon isn’t just an athletic achievement. It’s a state of mind; a state of mind that says anything is possible.

John Hanc, Runner & Writer

Life Lesson #1: Don’t be afraid to dream big.

Being a big dreamer doesn’t mean that you walk around with your head in the clouds. It means that you’re seeking a purpose for your life and it means that you’re becoming fulfilled in the process. Since I started running, it is a dream to finish a full marathon.

Life Lesson #2: There are no shortcuts to success.

Sometimes short cuts are not worth taking. They may bring you quick solutions but they do not make you become a better,  stronger, or more skillful person.

Life Lesson #3: Listen to your body.

Eat when you are truly hungry. Stop when you are full. And if something doesn’t feel right, whether it’s pain or maybe just tightness in one certain muscle, that awareness is the first step. Find out ahead of time where your weaknesses are in your body before they become a problem.

Life Lesson #4: Hydrate properly.

Throughout the day drink more when you’re active and on a hot day. Stay hydrated to fuel your performance and improve your health.

Life Lesson #5: Get out of your comfort zone.

Staying where you’re comfortable may feel safe, but pushing past your comfort zone brings more success.

Life Lesson #6: What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

Going through difficult experiences, people build up their strength for the next, possibly more painful event that may occur.  But this time, you’ll be braver, more powerful, and more ready to take on the next battle… Or race.

Life Lesson #7: Persistence pays off.

You are undertaking a lifestyle change, and in order to sustain the change, slow progress is the best progress – so keep at it, because persistence pays off.

lesson marathon has taught me

Life Lesson #8: Working hard for something is extremely rewarding.

It creates a strong feeling of self-worth, confidence and provides you with a feeling of success.

Life Lesson #9: If you really want something, you’ll find make time for it.

Typically, if something’s a priority, we make time for it… and if it isn’t, we find an excuse.

Life Lesson #10: When things get tough and painful, focus on taking one step at a time.

You have to learn to walk before you run. Imagine trying to run right after you finished crawling? Everything in life takes a process of time. Don’t worry about the next step before you finish the first one.

Life Lesson #11: Keep your head up in failure, and your head down in success.

Don’t brag when you succeed and don’t feel ashamed when you fail.

Life Lesson #12: Celebrate milestones, big and small.

Ensuring your mind is aligned and focused on the future is a good thing. But there is something to be said for taking a moment to acknowledge and appreciate it, big and small.

Life Lesson #13: Enjoy the journey, not just the destination.

Some people join marathons to win. Others simply want the thrill of the experience. Many people continue to participate in marathons even if they hardly finish because of the people they meet, the new places they get to explore, or how it makes them more disciplined.

Life Lesson #14: Help others along the way.

If you see people struggling —help! And experience the greatest joy ever by doing so.

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Polly Amora is the señorita behind GoldenIslandSenorita.Net and the general manager of a privately-owned company in Manila, Philippines. She is a lifelong learner who is very outgoing, speaks four languages, is loud and outspoken, and loves to have adventures in the mountains, on the beach, and in the city. You can throw her anywhere, and she'll handle it like a pro. Ice cream and beer are two of her weaknesses.