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Athens Marathon | Donna Douglas

2500 years after the first person ran from Marathon to Athens, bearing news of victory, I seized the opportunity to retrace his path with 12,499 of my closest running friends (lol). Thankfully, unlike that first runner, none of us dropped dead. Rather, we celebrated completion in the Olympic Stadium in Athens, Greece.101031_marathon (20)

At the start, a race announcer spun up the crowd like they do at many races: “You are a part of history! There is a great medal waiting for you at the finish line!” Under the golden beauty of sunrise over the sea, the words echoed in my mind, “They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable”1. Here, where spectators lining the course handed competitors the very branches used to make those perishable wreaths, I considered the transience of this race, of this life. Like a physical weight on my heart, I felt the emptiness of the announcer’s words.

The marathon, like few other races, teaches much about endurance. During the race, time seemed to crawl (it resembled my pace!) but I know from experience that all races, no matter how painful, are complete for a much longer time than one suffers during them. So I reflected: will I be satisfied later at with my effort now? Because I can never come back and change it.

And as I ponder that, I wonder, when I look back on my endurance, my performance, in this life, will I be satisfied as I stand on the brink of eternity? What do I need to change now, to know then that, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race”2?

1 1 Cor 9:25
2 2 Tim 4:7

We’ve returned from Greece to France and resumed our French language learning. Snow has fallen twice high in the Alps all around us, but for now the brilliant colors of autumn dominate the landscape. We hope you are well wherever this finds you!

A special thank you to Donna Douglas for writing her experience in Athens. Donna Douglas is treasured former board member attending language school in France with her husband Slick. More of her writing and insights can be found at

2 comments (Add your own)

1. Lojo wrote:
Thank you again for making me think again about my path forarwd. I am walking in fear for sure. But I do understand why. I am fearful of my life before, now and future Wow what a place to be. So, Now what??? All I can do right now is to take baby steps and plug along. I believe strong in what you say about courage, because it takes alot of courage to make changes because fear causes me to stand still, afraid to move. It does take courage to make a move to better a situation but then you take on a new life or situation and fear takes on a new role. Now you have a choice to stay in fear or listen to your words and go for what you strongly believe will make you suceed in your journey. But for me my old stinking thinking brings me back to old habits that keep me in bondage and makes me a prisoner in my own fear. I'm finding myself more fearful everyday as the holiday season gets closer. But . I think No, I KNOW I WILL, I MUST, I NEED, to take the minute by minute hour by hour day by day endurance race your talking about to work hard on living without fear and moving toward sucess! Thank you, Now What !!

Tue, August 28, 2012 @ 1:49 PM

2. wswucrx wrote:
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Wed, August 29, 2012 @ 7:30 AM

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