The Boston marathon took place last week on one of the hottest days in its history.  Having run it in 2003, I have some appreciation for what it takes to qualify and to complete it.  More than a marathon, it is metaphor, which is why many people do it.

Emblazoned across the 2003 poster that hangs in our workout room is a phrase that I see every time I step onto the treadmill.  Everything you ever needed to know about yourself you can learn in 26.2 miles.

Some of the lessons to be learned by extending oneself physically include: setting personal goals for the event; discovering the training discipline that works for you to meet those goals; persevering through the days when you don’t feel like it; listening to what your body is telling you; and stretching your body to do more than it ever has before.  At some point you realize that the physical challenges are really just the tools for training your mind to be positive in attitude and consistent in effort.

Each of us has much to learn from our own versions of 26.2 miles.  What are your metaphors?  Starting your own business?  Releasing a fear that has defined you most of your life?  Committing to a relationship?  Raising children?  Caring for animals?  Speaking from the podium or performing on stage?  And what are the small steps you are taking each day to build your attitude and effort for success?

Whatever your marathon, I encourage you to embrace it whole heartedly, and I salute you for going for it!  Stretching your comfort zone in service to your purpose and passion can provide everything you ever needed to know about yourself.