Life Lessons · Running

15 Life Lessons that I Learned From My First Marathon


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, running writer


Last February 1, 2015, I ran my first 42km, the Condura Skyway Marathon: I Run For A Hero.  I was a little apprehensive as it was my first time to run a race that I think couldn’t finish. Honestly, it was an overwhelming and humbling experience. Maybe one day I’ll run the race again and break my personal record but for now, I’m just really thankful to have done it and finished injure-free.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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 more brave, more powerful and more ready to take on the next battle… Or race.

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.

Working hard for something is extremely rewarding.
It creates a strong feeling of self-worth, confidence and provides you with a feeling of success.

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.

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.

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.

Celebrate milestones, big and small.
Ensuring your mind is aligned and focused towards 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.

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.

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

Prove the naysayers wrong.
When people say something negative, or something that is likely to cause doubts in your head, take that thought and dismiss it right from the start. Use this as a motivation and go out there and do your best.

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This was originally written last: July 04, 2015


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