Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Why Am I Running a Marathon? Here are 7 Reasons I'm Running a 26.2 mile race even though I hate running.

When I started telling people I was going to run a marathon the response was less than positive.  Most said things like, "I don't think thats too healthy" or "I don't think thats such a good idea".  I agree.  So why am I running a marathon?  Here are 7 reasons.

1 | It's a new goal and big challenge.  Each year I try to do something way outside my comfort zone to encourage my personal growth.  I hate running and a marathon scares me so I thought that would be a good thing to attack.  I think it's important to lead by example and try hard things to challenge myself.  I hate fighting and violence so I studied martial arts, I have a fear of heights so I became Airborne.  I hate running and am now running a marathon.  If I can do this... I can do other hard things.

2 | I turned 40 this year and wanted to challenge the age excuse.  My original plan was to run the PF Chang's Rock N Roll marathon here in Arizona but I injured my Achilles just before the race and had to reschedule to the Wisconsin Cheesiest Marathon.  Delays are not denials, patience paid off and after a 5 week healing delay I'm back on the streets.  As a Martial Arts Instructor, Trainer and school owner, I frequently hear adults use age or old injuries as an excuse as to why they are weak, unable or unwilling to be fit or try martial arts.  If Grandmaster Jhoon Rhee can do 1000 push ups a day in his 70's, and Veteran amputees can run a marathons  then I can certainly run a marathon to help encourage others.

3 | One more nail in the coffin of asthma holding me back.  Before Martial Arts, asthma controlled a lot of my life.  This  marathon is a celebration of not allowing asthma to hold me back from goals, dreams or rising to a challenge.  I want to be able to encourage kids with asthma to not let it hold them back.

4 | Stickin' it to "the man". I was told I should never kick or run again after I damaged my knees jumping out of perfectly good aircraft in the Army then later doing stunts. I skipped the surgery and did my own rehab with weight lifting and Yoga.  This flies in the face of conventional wisdom.  I'm running the marathon because others think I can't.

5 | I'll also be submitting my marathon medal with my future Black Belt Degree promotions for higher rank.  I wanted to put something into my promotion packet that shows that I'm actively taking on hard challenges and leading students by example.  "Always a student - sometimes a teacher." Plus it's a charity run so it should be good evidence of trying to make a positive impact on my community.

6 | KO stress.  It's been several years now of difficulty in my business having separated from my original USA Martial Arts partners, adapting to a tough economy in Arizona and other stressful challenges.  Rather than hope things get easier, my goal with the marathon training is to make myself tougher and more mentally, and emotionally strong to take on those challenges and stress.   I read that less than 1% of people on earth have run a marathon. I want to be in the 1%.

7 | The marathon training for me has been a vision quest of sorts.  It forced me to be outside in nature running in the sun with plenty of quality time.  I've used it to pray, meditate and as a living gratitude journal.  Each time I run I state all the things for which I'm grateful.  I'm a big believer that our focus and the questions we ask ourselves directly influences the quality of our attitude and therefore lives.  I've logged thousands of miles of gratitude now.  Plus I've had quality time with friends and students who have run with me from time to time.

I'll be running (more like stomp kicking the earth into submission) the Wisconsin Marathon on May 7th with Master Brian Van Patten.  He's my martial arts friend ("brother"), whom I met in my first martial arts school and took my first 3 Black Belt tests with.  We will be running for charity to benefit The Black Belt Society, a non-profit we started to benefit non-profit efforts close to our hearts (children's charities, safety education and Martial Arts for Veterans).

If you would like to support me in this effort to raise funds and awareness for some cool charities, send a donation of any amount, $5, $35, $150, $5k to:

The Black Belt Society Charity Marathon
4731 E. Greenway Rd Suite 9
Phoenix, Arizona 85032
Telephone 602-896-8721

For any donation over $35 bucks we'll send you a very cool custom art T-shirt we designed (the same I'll be wearing on race day) as our way of saying thanks.  Just write Shirt Please in the memo line of your check and we'll send it to the address on your check.

Thank you. You're support goes a long way in encouraging me and supporting worthwhile charities that build a more peaceful world.

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