Last Sunday my brother and I ran the Newport Marathon. Beautiful race at the perfect time of year! It marked our 15th marathon together.
The Welle bros running marathons is an unlikely hobby. My brother played college football on the offensive line and growing up, I only ran if someone was chasing me 🙂
Still, in 2005, I convinced him to run the Chicago marathon with me. Neither of us thought it would be the start of something - we both assumed it would be one and done.
I've come to appreciate these moments more with every finish line we cross and I've often asked myself why.
After all, I done a lot of races...but not all of them have the same impact.
It seems to me that the truly special moments in life - whether we're talking about marathons or anything else - contain three components:
1. Embracing something that stretches you.
It doesn't matter how many marathons you do, the last few miles are HARD. Uncomfortable. It's a stretch of the mind and body. And when you are stretched, you grow.
2. Finding joy in what you're doing.
To do this, you must be fully present. When we're running marathons, there's nowhere else I'd rather be: soaking up the sights, chatting with runners, feeling the energy from the crowd. It's joyful.
3. Sharing the experience with someone important.
George Clooney famously said in the movie, Up In The Air, "life is better with a copilot." He was talking about marriage but it applies to everything. Whether family or friends, sharing it with a copilot is almost always better than flying solo.
If you have one component, it's good.
If you have two components, it's great.
But I'd bet if you look at the moments you covet the MOST, they likely contain all three components. It could be marathons, travel, business, hobby, or anything else.
I'm hoping you find more of this trifecta in the future.