I cannot imagine what my life would be like without running and exercising almost every day of the week. Running has been part of my life for 27 years, and during that time, I have run 28 marathons and ultra-marathons, the latter being any running event longer than the traditional 26.2-mile marathon distance.
When it comes to your health, staying active is extremely important. Whether it is walking, cycling, running, or swimming, it is widely recognized that physical activity and exercise can have immediate and long-term health benefits. It also provides great ways to have fun, spend time with friends, and train towards a common goal.
While I have been active and played sports my entire life, I started running 27 years ago to participate in a team relay. From there, my running progressed to my first 10K, 15K, and half marathon. Soon I was thinking about attempting a marathon.
It started as a dream, but as Olympic gold medalist for running Jesse Owens stated, “We all have dreams. In order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort."
I have always recognized that these are the same criteria for achieving our dreams and goals, so I have applied them to all aspects of my personal and business life.
Lynn Jennings, a recognized long distance runner, said, “I succeed on my own personal motivation, dedication, and commitment. My mindset is: If I'm not out there training, someone else is.”
Having goals to strive for provides me with a sense of purpose and achievement, a sense of personal satisfaction and self recognition. That is what I love about running. The rest of the runners are there for support and camaraderie, but at the end of the day, everyone is running their own race at their own pace, and when it is over, you look back with a sense of pride and achievement. I still regard one of my greatest achievements in life to be twice completing the 56-mile Comrades Ultra Marathon in South Africa .
This year’s Boston Marathon is Monday, April 20. Like so many in Boston and around the world, Webster Bank will be on hand that day to commemorate the second anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings and to support the runners and fans who participate.
To all the runners: Whether this is your first marathon or one of many, whether you are running to win or for personal achievement, when the race is over, you will all be winners. You will have demonstrated your love for running, your discipline, determination, and commitment to train through this winter’s extreme conditions and should look back with pride all you have accomplished.
You’re not just strong, you’re Boston Strong.
Related Article: In Appreciation of What Makes Boston Strong