“People don't choose their calling, it chooses them.”

Why do so many people run the Marathon? I have been asking this question for several years. 

Yesterday was the 15th edition of the Mumbai Marathon (Tata Mumbai Marathon). About 44,407 men and women – young and old – took part in it…

And, why?

Each one has his or her own reason. And, that reason, invariably, is compelling. No one runs the Marathon for a skin-deep reason… There is something very personal and bigger that calls a man and a woman to run the Marathon…

A dear friend of mine, who lives in America, had posted a very vibrant picture of her after her Marathon participation in her state in America. She is in her forties and has college-going children. Last few years have been very traumatic for her with some major family problems. She had been sharing some of these problems with me and we were constantly in touch with each other. However, I did not hear from her for some months… She seemed totally cut off from social media, particularly FB.

So, early this morning, when I saw her FB status with that vibrant picture after her run, I wrote to her saying, that I was a bit worried all these months when I hadn’t heard from her and how relieved and glad I was now to see her lovely picture. She replied to me:

“Hi Gerry, thank you for your encouraging note. I ran the Marathon as a way of sending a message to myself and the Universe, that I am determined, strong and not giving up. Things at home are not better, and there are growing concerns… I am learning to let go to the Higher Power. Running Marathon was a metaphor for how my life is right now.”

This is just one such story…  Yes, no one runs the Marathon without a compelling reason!

I first heard about the young Canadian boy named Terry Fox through Richard Leider’s famous book ‘Power of Purpose’. Every time I ask the question – “Why do so many people run the Marathon?”, I see the images of Terry Fox… What was his reason… his purpose? I wish to share his story here in my Post (Courtesy: Wikipedia):

Terrance Stanley "Terry" Fox CC OD (July 28, 1958 – June 28, 1981) was a Canadian athlete, humanitarian, and cancer researchactivist. In 1980, with one leg having been amputated, he embarked on an east to west cross-Canada run to raise money and awareness for cancer research. Although the spread of his cancer eventually forced him to end his quest after 143 days and 5,373 kilometres (3,339 mi), and ultimately cost him his life, his efforts resulted in a lasting, worldwide legacy. The annual Terry Fox Run, first held in 1981, has grown to involve millions of participants in over 60 countries and is now the world's largest one-day fundraiser for cancer research; over C$650 million has been raised in his name.[1]
Fox was a distance runner and basketball player for his Port CoquitlamBritish Columbia, high school and Simon Fraser University. His right leg was amputated in 1977 after he was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, though he continued to run using an artificial leg. He also played wheelchair basketball in Vancouver, winning three national championships.

In 1980, he began the Marathon of Hope, a cross-country run to raise money for cancer research. He hoped to raise one dollar from each of Canada's 24 million people. He began with little fanfare from St. John's, Newfoundland, in April and ran the equivalent of a full marathon every day. Fox had become a national star by the time he reached Ontario; he made numerous public appearances with businessmen, athletes, and politicians in his efforts to raise money. He was forced to end his run outside Thunder Bay when the cancer spread to his lungs. His hopes of overcoming the disease and completing his marathon ended when he died nine months later.
In addition to being the youngest person ever named a Companion of the Order of Canada, Fox won the 1980 Lou Marsh Award as the nation's top sportsman and was named Canada's Newsmaker of the Year in both 1980 and 1981. Considered a national hero, he has had many buildings, statues, roads, and parks named in his honour across the country.

As my friend from America said, running the Marathon is a metaphor for how one’s life right now is… and how determined, strong and resilient one desires to be…


Pics: Internet


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