I just read an article about the 2007 Chicago Marathon and my calf muscles cramped just thinking about what these 25,000 people went through. In case you hadn't heard about it, Chicago had an unseasonably warm race day, to the tune of 82 degrees and 78% humidity at the start of the race. Not a cloud in the sky either. Extra watering stations were added, misting tents were set up, and thousands of volunteers lined the streets to help the runners on their way.
A couple of hours later, the marathon was in full disaster mode. Runners were collapsing, fainting and falling headfirst into the pavement, and water and food supplies were running out rapidly. It was chaos. The organizers of the race didn't expect things to get that bad, but hundreds of folks ended up in the hospital and one runner died that day.
First off, I can't imagine running 26 miles in the first place. I hit the treadmill for 2.5 miles this morning and I was spent. But in those conditions. They tried to cancel the event mid-race, police began diverting runners, but some 15,000 still finished. The average finish time was up 75% over years gone by.
So how DO you run a marathon? One stride, one block, and one mile at a time. Running has always been an apropo metaphor for life, work, and discipline. A picture of consistency, focus, and persistence. Not so much in the real estate market the past few years. I almost pictured a throng of tank-top wearing, athletic-shoed realtors and mortgage brokers lined up at the starting line in, say, 2005. How hard could it be to run 26 miles? Everyone was doing it. We were full of unfounded confidence and came out sprinting the first mile.
Then the heat was turned up. We found out how underprepared we were. You mean, people train for this thing? And the runners cramped up, passed out, got sick, dropped out, took up a different sport, got angry at the people who organized this race (lenders, appraisers, investors), and the other runners (other real estate agents and mortgage brokers). It's was a catastrophe.
So who's left? Who is still running? You and I. We're on Active Rain. We're calling clients and referral partners. We know the rules of the race are changing, but instead of getting angry, we adjust to the new course. We work, talk, track, goal-set, and run with the finish line in mind, but realize each step counts. So stay hydrated, pace yourself, tap into your inner strength, and run my friends, beacause the way you finish the marathon is to keep moving forward. One step at a time.