It is 26.2 miles of effort, sweat and energy. They are never easy, and by they finish you feel a combination of relief, excitement, and pain. Yes, after more than two dozen miles on your feet, everything starts to hurt.
But there are things in life that hurt, and are much harder, than a marathon.
Like when it hurts to receive bad news at 530 PM on a Monday.
When it hurts more when less than 18 hours later, you receive additional bad news while sitting at your desk eating lunch.
When it hurts to know you can’t be with the people who you love and know are hurting worse than you.
When it hurts to know that you can’t even remember the last conversation you had with someone who you will never see or hug again.
When it hurts to miss someone who is no longer in your life.
When it’s hard not to cry in the middle of the work day when that is really all you want to do.
When it’s hard not to tell people what is truly bothering you when they ask “how are you?”
When it’s hard to admit that you don’t want to be alone when you cry.
When it’s hard to tell someone that you want them to stay, even when you know they can’t.
While none of these things physically hurt, the pain is nothing compared to a marathon. But even it the hurt from these things is different, my marathon experience has taught me that I have the strength to keep moving, literally. Although some days the suffering hurts more than others, you take each day at a time, hopeful that tomorrow will be better and there will at least be someone out there willing to run the course with you.