How a marathon is like personal finances

Well, this weekend I will be running my very first full marathon. That’s right – 26.2 beautiful miles! At least I will be able to run it among the beautiful San Diego streets.

As I have trained for this marathon, I have realized that there are many correlations between this race and personal finances.

1. Both require disciplined focus and regular attention.

  • You will not just get rich because you want to. You will not run 26.2 miles just because you want to.

2. You must train yourself.

  • If you do not train yourself to manage your money, you will struggle. Monthly budgets are not an option. I know you do not like to do them. I also did not like to run 17+ miles at a time training for this race, but it was necessary to be able to make it the entire race.

3. This is not a sprint.

  • I have seen many people (MANY!) that become exuberant about changing their financial situation. They charge into restructuring their lives. I applaud their efforts. I am excited for them. I then see them 3 months later and they are right back doing the bad habits that got them broke in the first place! Why? They wanted to get rich quick. They wanted the result NOW! They forgot how long it took them to get so deeply into debt. In this marathon, if I started out at a dead-sprint I can guarantee you that I would not finish. I must start out with the end in mind. I must understand that a successful race requires commitment and a long-term mindset.

4. Both require a commitment.

  • I have never despised Saturday mornings until training for this race. You see, this is the time I have had to complete my long runs. I have had to run in 40 degree weather with blowing wind and rain for 17 miles. I have had to run in 90 degree weather with high humidity. I have had to run when I had family in town to visit. I have had to run while on vacation. Why did I have to run? I committed to run this race. I committed to complete this race. Just as I have committed my life to Christ, I must complete this race. Just as I have committed my life to my wife in marriage, I must complete this race. In the same way, I must remain committed to my finances. Without commitment, this whole entire effort to have financial success would fail. It is simple math, but it requires full commitment.

5. The end result is worth it!

  • I have lost 18 pounds that I did not even know I could lose by training for this marathon. I am the most fit I have ever been in my entire life. I KNOW that I will cry when I cross the finish line. I am OK with that. I KNOW that I am pumped up over what our financial planning has allowed Jenn and I to accomplish. It is enabling us to be able to do exactly what we were made to do. To accomplish EXACTLY what we were put on Earth to do! Truly, the end result is worth it!


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