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According to the Marathon Handbook only about 0.17% of people worldwide have finished a marathon (i.e., the 26.2 mile distance).

The Marathon Handbook estimates only about 1.3 million people out of the world population of about 7.93 billion people on the earth have successfully finished a marathon.

Are you one of the 1.3 million who have successfully finished a marathon?  If so, you are in a very elite category.

It is also estimated that about 1% of all people who attempt to run a marathon race fail to successfully finish the race.

There is even a smaller number of people who have successfully finished more than one marathon, about 0.12%.

I am a runner. I have successfully completed marathons in Chicago (multiple times), New York, Los Angeles and other cities.

So I am one of those people who are this very elite 0.12% category on the earth.

I have also have had bad races where I did not finish a marathon in Chicago, Milwaukee and other cities.

So I am also one of those people in the 1% failure category as well.

Why are there so few people on the earth who have finished a marathon?

  1. It’s hard.  The race is long and is hard physically and psychologically and its hard to push yourself through all the miles all the way to the finish when you are tired and your body is in pain.
  2. It takes a lot of time.  You have to run daily and do long runs on the weekends over several months to get your body ready to run the full distance to train for the race.  The race itself will take you anywhere from 2+ to 4+ hours, or more, to run depending on your age and fitness level.
  3. There is a large risk of failure.  Anything can happen with your body during a marathon.  You can have digestive problems, bathroom problems, muscle and joint problems, equipment problems with your clothing and shoes, blister and chaffing problems, etc.  All of which can prevent you from successfully making it to the finish line.

Even if you are not a runner and how no desire to run a marathon if you are, there are many situations, events and circumstances in your life which are hard, take a lot of time and include a large risk of failure to successfully finish.

What can you do to be one of the small percentage of people who overcome physical and psychological challenges and risk failure to successfully complete an important activity?

Use the saying “I, CAN.”

  1. Commit.  To commit is “to fully dedicate yourself to something.”  One way to commit to something is create a declarationA declaration is a specific set of instructions you are going to follow.  A declaration is a commitment to a desired result.  Create your declaration in the present tense, with positive words, expressed based on positive emotions and is time bound including a specific end time and date.  For example, say “I declare I am committing to ____________ by_(time)____________.”  Such a declaration embeds your commitment into your subconscious mind to change your behavior patterns to set up a framework for success over a specific time period.
  2. Address Adversity.  Since you are committing to something hard, that takes a lot of time and includes a large risk of failure, you are going face adversity.  Address any adversity you face achieving your commitment with confidence. Confidence is “a belief in oneself, the conviction that one has the ability to meet life’s challenges and to success and the willingness to act accordingly.” Being confident requires an active, pro-active, positive emotional state and making decisions based on positive emotions for what you want to achieve and then being responsible for the outcome of your decisions for achieving your commitment
  3. Note Progress.   Note and document all progress you achieve for your commitment.  Progress is defined as “something happening or developing gradually or in stages; proceeding step-by-step.”  You will successfully achieve what you committed to by proceeding step-by-step, gradually in stages. Use a progress journal to write out and record daily all positive activities, actions and successes you have achieved on that day for achieving your commitment.

Using the saying “I, CAN” allows you to successfully complete a challenging, risky activity and create a positive impact in your life.

I CAN. How about you?

Out There on the Edge of Everything®

Stephen Lesavich, PhD

Copyright ©2023, by Stephen Lesavich, PhD.  All rights reserved.

Certified solution-focused life coach and experienced business coach.