Every year, in April, the best long distance runners in the world come to one location in Boston, Ma to run one prestigious race. It’s a course that is herald as one of the more, if not the most, famous races in the world. That race is the Boston Marathon. Just getting the opportunity of competing and running in the Boston marathon is an honor for a lot of runners.
I write this post because of a lesson I learned in church this past Sunday. Running the Boston Marathon is similar to what any human being will go through in life. It may start out smoothly, but there are times when it gets tough and you just want to quit. The architects of the Boston Marathon strategically intended this race to be difficult; they wanted to separated the average runners from the great runners. So they placed the toughest obstacle for any runner, which lies at mile 20: it is called “Heartbreak Hill”. Matter fact, they say 1 out of every 5 runners in the race do not make it past Heartbreak Hill. It takes more than just your athletic ability to get past the hill; it takes something within- heart and strong endurance. Only the strong will survive.
Heartbreak Hill should remind us about life in general. It may be going smoothly, it may feel like your race is going great, but it always seems like there is a Heartbreak Hill just waiting at the most inconvenient of times. Heartbreak Hill just happens to appear at mile 20 of this enduring 26 mile race. At this point of the race, most runners are tired, and the body is telling them to just quit and give up. But the strong runners in the Boston Marathon, the ones with heart, refuse to quit because they know something special about Heartbreak Hill. First off, they’ve already made the decision that the hill will not get in their way of reaching their ultimate goal. Secondly, they know the treacherous hill will eventually subside, and once you’ve reached the top of the hill, there’s something encouraging in sight: You can actually see the finish line on the horizon. From there, runners in the Boston Marathon know that victory is near. But it’s so much sweeter for the strong runners because they did not give up; they refused to let Heartbreak Hill defeat them.
I learned in church this past weekend that we will eventually run upon a proverbial Heartbreak Hill at some point in our life. It is up to us if we want to be like a majority of the runners and just quit, or resemble the strong runners and keep it going. Yes, in the moment, it is painful and running up that hill is awful. But the pain of the hill is only temporary, the victory we achieve once we climb over the hill and cross the finish line will always be forever.
Are we ready for Heartbreak Hill?
PS: Congratulations to all of the graduates. You’ve already defeated one of your Heartbreak Hills.
“It’s hard to defeat a person who doesn’t quit”— Babe Ruth