The streets are brimming with runners. It’s the first November weekend, which means daylight-savings-time along with the New York City Marathon. Friday, while walking through Central Park, I came across a rally. It was a celebration of all the countries represented in the marathon. There were flags and delegates from 140 nations.
While I was passing, hearing countries being called out on the loudspeaker from Ecuador to Japan, I saw the proud representatives take in the cheers from others who had come half-way around the globe. It was peaceful. It was celebratory. It suggested to me the very real possibility of getting along, no matter where one resides, or how different others might live their lives. These are runners, and supporters of runners. Each person wants to do their best. They have trained and are ready to traverse New York City’s five boroughs.
I will be on the sideline, cheering my friends, and those I know, and shouting encouragement to those I will only see for a few short seconds. Viewing the marathon is awe inspiring. For most marathoners, running 26.2 miles is not easy. But they’re game and they do their best. There’s a courage in being inclined to make such a commitment. I call it the courage of Yes. They entered the lottery from a position of willingness. They trained for months because of that willingness. And now they are implementing a new courage. The courage of grit.
Grit means giving one’s all, whatever it takes. No one is compromising someone else. Everyone is running together in harmony towards a personal goal known to each runner. That takes determination. That takes grit. Witnessing the runners giving their all step by step, mile by mile, is truly inspiring. It inspires us to be more generous. It inspires good will. All in all, it inspires the best in all of us.
- Choose a small task. It can be cleaning the bathroom, doing homework, organizing the sock drawer ,or anything else. See if you can purposely focus. As you do the task add a little positive intention. This is a modest sample of grit.
- Find something that you’d really like to do that is out of your comfort zone or is something new to you. See if you can commit to doing it, or if you can take a first step towards doing it. This is a small example of the courage of Yes.
- If you’re in New York City, try to come out to see the runners, even for a very short time. You will be inspired. If you’re not here, watch a snippet on tv. Or watch a sport in which the players give their all. Take in their commitment to excellence for a dose of inspiration.