My cousin’s husband (cousin-in-law?), ran the New York Marathon last weekend with his brother, the professional clown. Until a few years ago my cousin ran with with them, but these days, in her mid 50’s, she’s decided to just run half marathons . They are those people you see who embody the city of Seattle: cool, laid back, smart, athletic, and successful, generous beyond belief, in a humble kind of “it’s no great shakes” kind of way. I hate them. I am, of course, only kidding.

The morning of the marathon, while her husband was making his way to Staten Island for the start of the race, my cousin decided to just do a small run across to the east side of Manhattan, down the FDR running paths, across the Brooklyn Bridge, back over the Brooklyn Bridge, past Wall Street and the Ground Zero Memorial, and up the west side from Battery Park to the mid 50’s. Like I said, no great shakes. This, while I read the Sunday Times, browsed the shops on Bleeker Street, treated myself to a large eggy breakfast with a friend, and did a few yoga stretches.

We were lucky enough to have scored stadium seats at the finish line, which is such a treat for those who have never done it. Being at the home stretch and watching the throngs, and I mean throngs, of runners making it to the finish, many limping, many with arms across each others shoulders or waists, guiding each other in those last few hundred yards, many with white hair, a few crying (happy tears, I think), but all with grins the size of a clowns, no pun intended, with music blaring and announcers yelling encouragement, and crowds cheering and screaming when their loved ones passed by, well lets just say exhilarating barely does it justice. I saw at least 2 people stop and wait for their friend/partner/sister/brother to catch up to them before crossing so that they could cross the finish line together. I saw runners carrying (wearing) flags from countries I’d never even heard of. As an observer you get very caught up in it, the feat, the stretch, the humanity of it all,for so many. And the happiness is infectious, as everyone cheers on everyone. As my cousin’s husband approached the stands, with his name featured prominently across his shirt, the crowd went wild for him as he whooped it up before us, egging us on for more cheers. Truly a great triumphant moment…see photo. At this point, time wasn’t an issue, he had done it, he ‘d made it, all that training and conditioning and perseverance paying off as he stood in front of his wife and me(and everyone else in the stands) and cheered.

His brother, the clown, who also runs every year, was not there yet, and we worried a bit, but as it turns out, he gets sick, literally sick, each and every year, as he runs, and yet he returns, year after year to run this race. What a clown!

By now you know where I’m going with this and I won’t let you down: It’s hokey but it’s so true, and as I watched I couldn’t help but think of this blog content: your business: perseverance, fighting through the pain, and the exhaustion, and the feelings of failure, and the moments of self doubt. Much like a marathon runner, a truly successful business owner will not give up! Don’t do it! Because in the end, the perseverance pays off. Sometimes it’s hard to see the finish line, and you might even get a little sick, or blow out your knee, or have a few rough miles, but if you know it’s there, and you envision it and keep pushing towards it, your efforts will pay off. And that’s a beautiful thing.



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