Just a few days ago, I was encouraging someone before we started his bodywork session. He is in the middle of an epic struggle for the integrity of one of his most precious relationships. It’s work. It’s struggle. It’s sweat. It’s tears. I told him about how I ran (actually hobbled, cried and cursed myself for the stupidity of actually attempting to run) in the first official marathon in Okinawa, Japan in 1993. Musicians, dancers, families and supportive friends lined the course and often the shout of “Ganbatte!” could be heard. Ganbatte, when used for running a race, means: “Keep going! Hang in there! Keep your spirit up!”
Towards the end of the massage, this client shared that he loved the symbolism of a marathon as a way to process the struggle he is currently metabolizing. And we are all in the middle of some struggle whether it be personal growth and discovery, healing from trauma, navigating relationship highs and lows, spiritual journeying, taking off on an adventure, it’s all so similar to a marathon. Anything worth doing takes time, just like local, slow food trumps hot pockets in the microwave everytime.
We softly intoned the analogies that swiftly came to mind: the need for training; coming to balance in your strength and endurance; the importance of getting the right gear; and hitting the wall. The finish line always has a reward- you might just get a massage at the end. All of this reminds me of one of my favorite Scriptures: “No discipline seems pleasant at the time but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Let’s mine these principles for some more wisdom.
Discipline is training. Learning and growth takes consistent movement. Practices steeped in mindfulness and awareness are like speed training, the opposite of eating cinnamon rolls on the couch. Nobody likes to run sprints, but they are game changers. The hard work has a payoff.
The effect of training is strength, endurance & balance. Confidence comes as you feel the effects of the practice which must be consistent and varied to keep the mind and body stimulated. It’s not about a rut, it’s about blazing new trails!
Get the right gear. Follow the path of wisdom. Even though I survived the marathon in ‘93, I stupidly decided that I didn’t need to use Vaseline to keep my skin from chafing plus I also wanted to wear new running shoes so that I could look cute. Huge mistakes. Let’s take in good wisdom and walk it out in our lives. No need for road rash when it can be easily avoided.
Everybody hits the wall. No matter the fitness level of the runner, the fact is, that if you are running your best race, you will hit a wall that must be overcome. The reason it is called a wall is because you will think it is impossible. What’s on the other side of that wall of pain and pressure is a gift, whether it be wisdom or a vista that leaves you breathless or love rekindled. Whatever it is, it will be like dead bones took on flesh and began to dance.
Getting to the finish line is worth it. Ganbatte! Keep your spirits up! Don’t give up, my friends. The support of community will help you to achieve a finish in whatever marathon you are running today.
I am so grateful for all that I learn from my clients. At Wellspring, our team and I are so often blown away by the lessons and love that our members and guests share as they pursue their vitality goals. So blessed. So grateful for all of you.
Love people. Love vitality.