Never too late to start

marathonmaniacjul200Flipping through a Runner’s World magazine (July 2009) while resting between sets at the gym, I found this article, “Marathon Maniac,” about the most-prolific marathoner in the world. He’s Larry Macon, a 64-year-old lawyer in San Antonio, who holds the Guinness World Record for running the most marathons in one year: In 2008, Macon ran 105 races of 26.2 miles or more. His weekend routine? Running two, sometimes three, marathons.

Impressive.

But what caught my eye was his middle-aged start. He first took up running in 1992, when he was 47. Forty-seven!

Then, on a dare, he tried his first marathon at age 51 in 1996. By 2006, he ran 79 marathons or ultra marathons (longer than 26.2 miles).

Stunning.

His achievements make a mockery of the typical midlife blahs. Granted, most humans are not built for running and risk hobbling on trashed kneecaps and ruptured Achilles tendons later in life. But there are universal lessons here:

  • Don’t use your age as an excuse. It’s never to late to start.
  • Find your own way. For some, hatha yoga (asana and pranayama) help to remove distractions, still the mind, and enable states of meditation and beyond. For others, it might be playing the piano, open-ocean swimming, or sitting in zazen (Zen meditation).
  • Plunge in, don’t just wade around. It’s easy to dabble in this or that. But in life we can’t do everything. Pick only a few things that you love to do, and go full-out. Life-changing experiences do require you to change your life.

‘Nuff said, ’cause that’s all much easier said than done!

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