I was reminded again of this today when I went to the marathon expo to pick up my wife's race number for her relay and my half-marathon shirt. (Hey, I paid $90 to not run this race, I'm at least picking up my free shirt!) It was a little depressed being there and knowing I wasn't going to be running any part of the Pittsburgh course for the first time in the past five years. I've had a chance to be involved in the run almost every year since the race returned to Pittsburgh in 2009, skipping only 2010 to figure out student-teaching. I hobbled around thinking "hmm, maybe if I did run a quick-walk I could at least traverse the 13.1 miles in the maximum 3.5 hour time limit. That'd be doable, right?" I ultimately decided against as at best it would still make for a long depressing run, and at worst I could re-injure myself and make things worse. It made me wonder, though, what's everyone else's excuse?
Now no, running marathons, or any type of long distances, isn't for everyone, but there's really some form of physical activity everyone can do. It's not even a matter of "getting in shape" or "losing weight" or "increasing life expectancy", it's a matter of taking advantage of the time, the youth, and the legs that you have, while you have them. To spend your free time leading a completely sedentary life isn't just a waste of yourself, it almost feels somehow disrespectful to everyone who can't be out there. I'm sitting this race out, but rest assured I'll be back for the next one. I have no reason not to, and I never want to look back and wondered why I sat around for so long. Perhaps all the teenagers and 20-somethings who prefer staring at their phones because one day their eyes will go bad, but I don't think it carries the same weight.
If you're not doing anything tomorrow morning, come on downtown to see what the runners have put together. Maybe it'll be just what you need to get yourself out there next year. Run while you can.