I didn’t see much of the London Marathon yesterday as I was at church but I did listen to some of the coverage on the radio as I was driving there.
I was struck, yet again, but the amazing capacity people have for hope, for good and for generosity.
People who don’t run wake up one day and decide that for some reason running 26.2 miles seems like the kind of thing they want to try. Some are motivated by loss, others by a second chance or the need to make a difference, raising millions for charities. Some do it just to prove to themselves that they can.
Watching 40,000 people do something hard is inspiring. We have become a little used to the distance. We are little less impressed because we all know someone who has done run a marathon.
What’s more, we know the people who run are not special, at least not in a physical way.
The only difference between them and the 99.9% of people who will never run a marathon is that they have chosen to do it.
As you watch the whole range of humanity from superfit Kenyans completing the course in a staggering 2:04 to the 101 year old completing yet another marathon with every kind of person in between it’s hard not to think ‘I could do that!’.
I heard Helen Skelton, tv presenter and someone who has taken on some incredible challenges, remind us that challenge is relative. For some running 26.2 miles isn’t hard. For some walking 0.2 miles is a dream. Running isn’t for everyone, but there is something out there for you.
There is a woman walking the marathon course this week who is paralysed from the chest down. Yes, I did just say a woman who is paralysed from the chest down is WALKING. She is using her brand new exoskeleton to help her get round the course.
There were amputees, transplant donors and recipients, people with all kinds of things that others call limitations or disabilities who all joined that 0.1% club of people who said ‘I can do that!’.
There were people who have lost someone special, who have recovered from illness or accident and people who just wanted to see if they were up to it.
They are all proof that we should never let someone tell us that something is impossible, that you are being silly or that you couldn’t do that.
They did meet their challenge… and you can meet yours.
What are you waiting for?