• Aliya

25 Seconds Away




I just watched Breaking2, a documentary about distance runners and their quest to break the 2-hour marathon record.


It was a random choice for a Monday evening while I sat on the couch in my sweats eating too many slices of pizza, but inspirational, nonetheless.


SPOILER


The 2-hour threshold was not broken; the fastest time was run by Eliud Kipchoge at 2 hours and 25 seconds. While he was disappointed that he did not meet his goal, he was not discouraged, and he dropped such a gem of a quote, I had to share it here.


The interviewer asked Eliud “Does this mean that human beings have limits?”


He answered, “I don’t agree with that. The goal actually was to break the 2-hour barrier, I didn’t manage to do that. The world now is just 25 seconds away. I think many people were worried that if a human being ran two hours, he might die. I’m still alive. It’s only 25 seconds. It was hard to shed all those minutes. But I think it will be easy for another human being to shed those 25 seconds.”


The world now is just 25 seconds away.

This sentiment can have so many applications. From the Black Lives Matter Movement to medical breakthroughs and everything in between. We have accomplished what only a few decades ago may have seemed impossible. And while we are not yet where we need to be, perhaps those goals now do seem a little less impossible.


But I think it struck a chord for me today as a mother. Like many of us, when I was a kid, I had some pretty lofty goals for myself. Ones that seemed so attainable when I was young, and then as I grew older and the reality of obstacles (both the mundane and the significant) came into focus, seemed less so. And then I had kids and the focus shifted away from myself to them, and those goals lost some of their importance.


But on top of everything was a fear of failure. I didn’t have that weight on me so much as a child. But as an adult, it feels like the world is watching. What will my friends, family, co-workers, acquaintances, think if I try that thing I want to try, and fail? How embarrassing!


Here’s the advice I’d give myself in the mirror, Issa Dee style: So what? Try to break that 2-hour barrier (metaphorically, of course). It may seem like the odds are stacked against you, and maybe they are, but go for it anyway. Do your best. You’ll survive. And you’ll be setting an example for your kids. They will see you going after what you want, and that energy will hopefully be engrained in them.


Will I accomplish my goals? Time reveals all. But my hope is that my children will bear witness to my quest to accomplish them, and that even if I fail, they will in turn be fearless in chasing after their own dreams.


The world now is just 25 seconds away.


Note: You'll be pleased to know that Eliud eventually broke the 2-hour record in 2019.

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"The rose is without an explanation. She blooms, because she blooms."

- Angelus Silesius

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