Every Day Is A Marathon

From the Sources: Preface to The Gulag Archipelago

The overwhelming tow of gravity pulls us down into the Earth. It drags our limbs until we find it impossible to rise. Even lifting our arm or getting out of bed requires more effort than we can muster.

We can all relate to this feeling that the smallest task seems like an insurmountable undertaking equivalent to climbing Mount Everest. The smallest daily chore demands every scrap of energy in our reserves. The tiniest movement of getting to our feet and walking across the room leaves us drained, exhausted, and completely depleted.

Getting up.

Taking a shower

Brushing our teeth.

Eating our meals.

Working our jobs.

Writing each of these takes just a few words, but each of these simple, everyday tasks becomes an impassable summit we have to climb with no peak in sight.

When faced with these daunting challenges, it’s easy to give up and surrender to the overpowering force of gravity. It’s so much easier to sink into nothing than to face the effort of getting them done.

Every day is a marathon.

Anyone who tells us otherwise is lying to us.

People we see on the internet or social media or on TV who sing and dance and cheer about how energetic they feel, how happy they are, how successful they are, how wonderful their lives are—they’re all lying.

Every day is a marathon for them, too. Getting out of bed is a struggle for them. Getting their work done and managing their family lives takes just as much energy for them as it does for us. They just don’t post that on their social media platforms. They cherry-pick the good parts and leave the negative aspects and struggles in the closet.

Every day is a marathon for me, too.

Each and every microscopic daily task from the instant we open our eyes in the morning until we close them at night is a marathon in itself.

If every day is a marathon, then we have to train for that marathon. We need get enough sleep and eat the right foods to run that marathon. We need to think the right thoughts and go through the right visualizations to accomplish our goal. We need to surround ourselves with people who believe we can do it instead of those who constantly tell us we’re too pathetic to bother.

That’s the only way we’re going to complete that marathon instead of falling by the wayside. 

When we watch marathon runners competing, we see two kinds of people. First, we see the ones who are striding ahead of everyone else. They cross the finish line smiling and happy and looking fresh. They have energy left over to accept the congratulations of the crowd.

Then we see people dragging themselves over the finish line and immediately collapsing on the pavement. Sometimes they have to be carried away or they don’t finish at all.

The difference between these two is preparation. The first group ate enough of the right kind of food and built the reserves to last the distance. They got a good night’s sleep and trained the right way so that they had the strength and energy to run a marathon and still have something left over. The second group did not do those things and it shows.

This is what we’re seeing when we encounter people on the internet, on social media, or in the wider world who are happy, energetic, successful, and cheering themselves about how wonderful their lives are.

They’re getting good sleep. They’re eating a good diet. They’re using exercise and physical exertion to release endorphins that give them a sense of wellbeing and a high that leaves them content, relaxed, and centered. They’re taking time out to replenish their stores, both mentally and physically.

These people are training to run a marathon every day. They make their mental state and their energy levels their number one priority. They make a conscious effort to think and visualize and construct the moment they cross that finish line. They do this each and every day. They do this with each and every task they perform, every single day. That is the only way they could live that life and get the results they are getting.

There are two kinds of people in the world. There are the people who are training to run a marathon every day and there are the people who are not.

Life isn’t any easier for them that it is for us. Life is just as hard and just as insurmountable. The challenge of getting out of bed each morning is just as difficult and just as daunting. Their jobs are no less tedious. Getting through the hours of their daily routine requires the same amount of energy as yours and mine.

Life doesn’t get easier. Anyone who says otherwise is spinning us a line of bullshit to manipulate us. If we’re waiting for life to get easier, we’re going to be sorely disappointed.

Every day is a marathon and every day will continue to be a marathon until we die. The only way we can complete that marathon and even conquer it with energy to spare is to train for it, to optimize our performance through training and preparation and health, both physical and mental. This is the difference between finishing the marathon with a smile on our faces and a medal around our necks or being taken away in an ambulance.

Thank you for reading today. I hope this helps someone out there. If you need help right now, click to chatbot button at the bottom of the screen. We’ll get started solving your most pressing issues so you can live a better quality of life. You don’t have to do this alone anymore. See you there.