Yesterday was the Chicago marathon. Since moving to Chicago in 2011, it has become an annual tradition to cheer the thousands of runners and wheel chair racers.
The event is quite motivational to observe and many people come out to watch one of Chicago’s best “parades”. For many spectators, it turns into quite the social affair with outrageous signs, creative outfits, various noise makers, and planned brunches at places along the course. The positive energy can be infectious!
Each year has demonstrated its own sense of character. One year, I had three out of town friends who traveled in order to run it and my cell phone was signed up for the tracking notifications.. (Talk about an added boost to the exhilaration from watching the event!) This year, one sign that became the hit of social media for the day read “I complete Netflix marathons”.
As the sign implies, the theme of “marathon” can take on multiple meanings and purpose. It can indicate a literal showing of athletic sportsmanship or it can be a figurative representation for various journeys throughout life; each with time committed and a respective end goal. I have come to hold particular appreciation for the term marathon used as an analogy for one’s health journey. This can be significantly relatable for one who is working very hard to send a chronic condition into remission.
Training for a marathon requires intent, commitment, and following a plan. However, it also requires key aspects of resilience. Beyond having the ability to get back up when one falls, it is the self-awareness to know when to take slower steps toward the end goal. As the photo below reveals, there may be a few storm clouds along the way, but further down the path, the sun will shine.
For this week’s Motivational Monday, it is only suiting to focus on life’s journeys and many accomplishments. Whether they are health related or not, each deserves its own form of “hurrah” for completion.
Congratulations Chicago Marathon entries and for all of you completing your own versions of marathons throughout your daily lives!
Ashley L Arnold, MBA, MPH is a lifestyle health educator and coach who supports clients to channel authority over their health, well-being, and overall vitality. Offering health education approaches and 1-on-1 coaching modules, she gets them out of excess weeds of information and inconsistent practices that don’t get desired results. Through helping people focus on the right applications paired with appropriate consideration for bio-individual facets, they become stronger, more confident self-advocates for their health. Bottom line, they will surpass challenges, embrace healthful living with ease, and, best of all, feel a greater sense of empowerment and more energy!