Thursday, December 19, 2013

11 Seconds

A benchmark marathon goal time is to finish in under four hours.  60 minutes per hour and 60 seconds per minute adds up to 14,400 seconds in a four hour marathon.  In the 2012 Atlanta Marathon, I finished in 14,389 seconds.  So, I accomplished my goal by less than a margin of how long it took you to read those first two sentences.

Such a small difference.  Think of all of things that happen over the course of four hours in any given day, let alone along the course of chilly, hilly marathon.  I think about having stopped quickly to greet my wife and daughter at mile 16 while I dropped off my hat, gloves and a used water bottle.  I think about the moments I paused to stretch due to an injury between miles 18 and 20.  Mostly, I think about that last, long hill towards the finish line and the few people I passed who were walking while I convinced myself to keep running, even though everything inside me was insisting otherwise.  I was the last person to cross the finish line with a net time less than four hours.  But I made it.

11 seconds.  Such a small but important margin for me that day.  But isn't it the little things in life that become some of the most defining moments?  Here’s a few things you can do in 11 seconds or less:
·         Stop and say “thank you” for a kind word or gesture
·         Hold the door for someone
·         Let that guy cut in front of you in traffic (who knows where he’s going – maybe it really is important)
·         Reach in your pocket and take out what’s there and drop it in the bucket next to the lady ringing the bell
·         Tell someone “good job” or “well done” for something they did that you noticed
·         Pray for someone
·         Add an item of your own to this list...then do it.
·       Ask yourself "what would an extraordinary person do?"