Thoughts on the Boston Marathon: Does a Good Time Require a Good Time?

Marathon Day is an exciting one in Boston. Gates blocking the marathon route go up first thing in the morning, and vendors hit the streets earlier than usual to greet all of the marathon fans. There’s a palpable sense in the city that something special is going on.

Marathon Monday was especially exciting for me this year because I had a good friend, Harry Landers, running the race. He’s run the race before, but because he was able to run with one of his good friends this year, he said that this marathon was his favorite even though he ran the route slower than ever before. He said about the marathon, “I realized that you don’t need to have a good time to have a good time.”

Over the last week, I’ve thought a lot about what he said. It’s true that you don’t have to beat your own record to enjoy a process. Sometimes we get so hung up on bigger, better, faster that we forget to just be in the moment. Constantly looking for the finish line can cut us off from fully diving into the experience. I also believe that sometimes a good time is only a good time in hindsight. Any labor of love that requires passion, perseverance, and dogged determination is not enjoyable at every single moment. But the sense of accomplishment you feel on the other side is almost always worth the struggle.

So I’d like to thank Harry for this lesson. You may have tossed out this witty play on words casually, but you’ve given me lots to think about.

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