There are decals that I have noticed recently on cars in my area. They seem to be everywhere. For a long time I wondered what they meant because they simply are some numbers. Eventually, I figured it out.
The number of miles in a marathon.
It seems that marathons are having their day.
As I have said before, I have a certain amount of ambivalence about exercise. I do what I need to do and no more. Marathons, to me, seem like way more than what’s necessary. So why are they so popular?
And when a “simple” marathon is not enough, how about one of these:
Antarctica Marathon — Run 26.2 miles on the coldest continent on Earth.
Death Valley Ultramarathon — Run (or walk) 135 miles in the hottest, driest place on Earth.
I don’t know whether to admire these people or feel sorry for them.
In another context, this would be considered self-flagellation. And people generally think of self-flagellation as weird and vaguely fetishistic.
So why would the Antarctica Marathon attract 110 people in 60 days for its inaugural run? And why are there are 94 runners in the article about the Death Valley race?
I don’t buy into what the organizer of the Antarctic race says: “These are people who take the reins and ride life hard. They’re not afraid to take some risk and live life to the fullest.”
Personally, I don’t shy away from living life to the fullest. I’ve written for publication. I’ve played music in a band in front of live audiences. I’ve donated a kidney.
But I think there is something unhealthy about all this so-called physical fitness. I don’t think of these marathon exploits as living life to the fullest. Rather, I think it’s madness.
Maybe that’s just me.