Recently finished running the 4th annual Saitama International Marathon. It reminded me that in a marathon, at kilometer 30, there is a phenomenon called "the wall." At this wall, the body, which stores enough sugars to keep going for about 30 kilometers, stops moving. Runners who have completed more than a few marathons, at certain times in their career, experience this wall. Paula Radcliffe, who holds the world record for the fastest marathon run by a woman, hit the wall in the 2004 Olympics. She faded, and then stopped, slumping down on the pavement next to the spectators, crying. Hitting that wall is not a pretty sight. Many anticipate a struggle with the marathon in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics because of the heat.

 Even with the wall, however, thousands of runners of every skill level, every year finish a marathon. They deny the physical limitations of the body and they push themselves further then they thought possible.

They are able to soar beyond the 30 kilometers, pushing themselves the extra 12.195 kilometers to the finish.

Think about it for a minute: where, from where you live, is 42 kilometers? From Tokyo to Yokohama is about 30 kilometers. If you run the island of Manhattan, that is only 34 kilometers. A marathon is a long road.

Life is the same way. Whether it's working on a project, making a sale, raising children, moving house, learning how to cook a roast lamb, or finding the partner of your dreams. Mentally you force yourself to keep going—you climb the wall. You need to find what moves you to gain momentum and keep going. When your energy starts to fade, push. When you hit a bump in life, keep moving. If a sale falls through, make another prospecting call; if your daughter comes home with poor grades, help her study; if that beautiful person at the bar sitting next to you doesn’t smile back, go find someone more beautiful! Before you go to bed for the evening, complete one difficult task during the day that builds momentum in your life.  

    Climb the wall, finish with your head up, and have a strong kick to finish your own marathon of life.