The Purposeful Marathoner (The Purposeful Person)

This time around I set out with the intention of running a marathon again.  For awhile there, I didn’t think I’d be able to make it. I felt too weak.  Too tired.  Too busy.  But, I decided that I wanted it, so I found a way to make it work.   I’m not the skinniest.  I’m not the strongest. I’m not the fastest.  But, I do not care.  I want it anyway.

I want to do certain things.  So I do them.

The older I get, the more I am on a mission to make sure what I do has a purpose.  That I do things with intention.  I don’t know how many minutes, days, months, or years I have left, but I sure as hell don’t want to waste them.  There are things I want to do. Important things. Nice things.  Silly things.  Frivolous things.   Things I am good at. Things I am bad at. All kinds of things.  I don’t care what other people think about the things I do, because they are mine.  They make me me and they make me happy.

marathon 2

An acquaintance of mine asked me what I thought my time would be for this race and when I told her my time for my first marathon she said, “Oh, that’s a long time”, probably thinking I was going to run this one a whole lot faster, and then she told me what time she thought I should be able to run it in, which is nowhere near what my time will actually be and I do not care.  I will run it anyway, and it will take a loooong time and it will be glorious.  Because the past few months while one of my intentions was to train for this marathon another was to eat popcorn and drink homemade wine while I sit on the couch snuggling my husband, watching House of Cards, analyzing all of the relationships between the fictional characters on the show.  Long gone are the days that I let embarrassment, or fear, or even ability, stop me from being ridiculously, outrageously, happy with the things I choose to do.  This marathon is just one of the many things that are important to me right now, it is not the only thing.

I want to do things I can feel with my hands and my fingertips.  I want to do things I can feel with my brain and my heart and that weird spot in my chest that may or may not be a real physical space but that certainly swells every time I feel all the feelings.

Before you get all let’s-stop-the-glorification-of-busy on me, know that sometimes I want to do nothing, so I do. On purpose.


I will purposely fuel my body with fruits, vegetables and healthy fats. I will intentionally indulge in wine and nachos. I will purposefully smother those around me with hugs and kisses.  I will intentionally leave them all at home when I go for a long jog by myself. I will purposefully write.  I will intentionally not spend too much time wondering if it is any good. I will purposefully push myself into downward dog.  I will intentionally breathe.

I think it might be possible to suffocate oneself with all the crap and the sadness and the mundane.  I am working to collect every free minute I have, to gather them one by one and pack them together and carry them around with me, like a deep-sea diver carries a tank full of oxygen and nitrogen molecules strapped to his back.  I know I can only hold on to so many at once, so I will not be too stingy with my minutes and I will take deep, luxurious inhales of them. How could I not?  They keep me alive. Even though I know I will be able to refuel, I will certainly try not to let any escape because what if one of those wasted minutes ends up being the one that could save me later?

We all have the same hours in the day, and we all make our choices about what it is we want to accomplish.  I am done saying that I wish I had the time to do x,y or z that my pal is doing because if I really wanted to do it, I could.  It just might be in the place of something else.

What do you do with purpose? With intention?  What do you make sure to do with your minutes?

10 thoughts on “The Purposeful Marathoner (The Purposeful Person)

  1. You go girl. That is on my bucket list as well. Thanks for sharing and reminding me to just “do it”, whatever “it” is at that moment that will bring me joy 🙂

  2. Love this! As for me, I exercise almost every day with intention, and I love it! Whether it’s a run, walk, or P90X with my hubby, I feel so good when I workout. I also plan for decadence and enjoy my trips to Cold Stone Creamery and a glass of wine with popcorn. It really is all about the “little things” in life.
    Love the optimism in this post. Invigorating! 🙂

  3. I love the image of you carrying around your minutes the way that a scuba diver carries oxygen. What a beautiful concept. And DO IT! Who cares if you’re slow?!?

  4. Once again, you moved my heart and soul to tears. Some days it’s all I can do to put one foot in front of the other. Other days, I’m running on air and don’t want the road to ever end. The reward, every single time, can be nachos and wine (popcorn makes my gallbladder cringe) OR coffee and bacon OR hugs and giggles from any single one of my family and friends (and even the dog) OR just taking a deep breath and knowing that this is MY life!

    It only matters that you do what you do with intention and purpose and heart and soul. Run, Grouch, run!

  5. I always like reading your posts…they inspire.
    We let fear and guilt and shame tie us down….and thus hinder ourselves from being happy. If only we can become more bold in reaching out for our happiness

  6. Great insight – I feel like you really touched on a few issues that need to be touched on for all of us, particularly the if you really WANT to do something, you’d do it. Thanks for writing such a great piece!

  7. Very inspiring! I’m myself on this journey right now, not going for the marathon this time but a half-marathon. With work, house, heavy traffic, hectic city, and on top of it, a 25-month-old kid who hasn’t once in his life slept all night without waking up, it’s pretty hard to take up on any exercise, especially km and km on a Sunday morning. But as we are moms who are keen on running, I guess nothing is impossible. Love your posts! Enjoy the training and the race!

    1. Thanks Rada! After pushing publish on this post I developed tendinosis and had to BIKE the rest of my training (last month’s taper). Turns out, I CAN’T RUN THE RACE. I’m trying not to be disappointed, but I REALLY AM. But, I did do ALL the training, and that counts for something, right? So, on to physical therapy and then marathon training begins AGAIN. Best wishes to you and your half! Let me know how it goes.

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