Celebrating Marathons




noun: marathon; plural noun: marathons

· a long-distance running race, strictly one of 26 miles and 385 yards (42.195 km).

· a long-lasting or difficult task or operation of a specified kind.

Marathons are begun every day.

It’s the woman on her first day of treatment for breast cancer.

It’s the organization that is renovating its first home in an urban rejuvenation project.

It’s the Battles of Lexington and Concord, celebrated every Patriot’s Day as the first step toward

American Independence.

It’s the couple who are on their first of four rounds of IVF treatment, hoping for a miracle.

It’s the man walking into the lending department of a bank, with a plan in hand to keep his business afloat.

It’s the first paragraph of a novel.

It’s the inventor who sits down to a blank graphic design screen with motivation to invent the perfect voice-activated wheelchair for his twenty-three-year-old disabled brother.

It’s the amputee waking up from surgery to find that his life has forever changed.

It’s the woman who patiently answers a question for her elderly parent, afflicted with Alzheimer’s, knowing she might have to answer it a million times more.

It’s the pharmaceutical scientist beginning a research project on a drug designed to slow the progress of ALS.

It’s the pre-school teacher on her first day of school.

It’s the toddler at her first pre-school class.

It’s the family waking up on their first morning in a Syrian refugee camp, uncertain of the future, but hopeful that there are better days ahead.

It’s the mother attending her first support group meeting after finding out that her son is addicted to heroin

It’s the first shovel of dirt in the community garden.

It’s the blueprint of the home you cannot afford to build – but will.

It’s the tiny seed of an idea that comes to you in the middle of the night, then grows into a plan to open a business.

It’s that first stroke of the paintbrush, tap of the hammer, turn of the screw, or pull of the pry bar in any project.

It’s the day you find out you are pregnant.

It’s the day you find out that the baby you’re carrying will have a disability.

It’s the day you bring your new baby home from the hospital.

People with strength and perseverance – perhaps the kind they never knew they processed – begin marathons every day. Those marathons are begun out of hope, necessity and, sometimes, fear. They can be the most joyous of events, or the saddest. But nearly always, they turn out to be our most inspirational of moments – the times when we find out what we’re made of.

Here’s to The Boston Marathon and to people, everywhere, who are pushing forward through both adversity and goals – one step at a time. May you all finish the race.

This column is dedicated to three special couples who are on mile one of a race worth running and to all my friends and family who find themselves in the middle of a marathon. God Bless.

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