Friday, September 12, 2008

A lot of us are currently training for the WaltDisneyWorld Marathon, so today I want to touch on that. Why ever would we want to do a marathon or even a half marathon. We go into it knowing we are at some point going to feel discomfort and may even just flat out hurt. So why would we want to subject ourselves to that kind of risky adventure.

Maybe it's because we have the choice to feel discomfort and even pain. As people who live in the modern civilized world we don't have to worry about plowing our fields by hand, we don't have to go out and battle tooth and nail with an animal in order to feed ourselves and our family. We for the most part lead pretty dull lives. We go to work and spend about 8 hours wishing we were doing something else, or we get up and follow a routine like we were programed. Maybe just maybe once in a while we have to shout "stop it" and look for a dragon to slay to prove we really are alive.

The people like us who seek the challenge of taking a risk and commit to training their body and mind to play at the edge have always been around. In history we were called "Warrior", we were called "Dreamer", we have even been called, "Foolish". We are the adventurers, the ones who seek some way to find out who we really are and what we are capable of.

When a warrior goes into combat he/she goes only with what they have with them, the strength of their body the keenness of their training and the courage in their heart. It doesn't matter what their house looks like, it doesn't matter how much money they have in the bank or what kind of car they drive. When you are stripped down to just you, then you find out who you really are and how much more you are than you ever imagined.

When we take our place at that marathon starting line we, like the warrior, have only ourselves. All our possessions and comforts, for the next few hours no longer exist. We are going into battle, not against a physical enemy but against that mondane life that for the next few hours also doesn't exist. For a few hours we are one with our brother and sister athletes and with ourselves. We are there to prove we are not just living but that we are alive.

You hear people say that you are changed forever when you finish a marathon. You are not so much changed as you are set free. You find that, after you walk or run or walk/run a distance like that, you look at things differently. The demons of self doubt that you lived with all your life vanish as you cross that finish line.

Of course then you become addicted to that "high". That's why we keep coming back year after year. Not because we are "foolish", but because we have discovered the wildness that is inside all of us. A wildness that must be a part of our lives if we are to be truly happy.

Be strong, be free and be in love with life.

Warrior Panda

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