Yesterday was the Chicago marathon. The past 2 years we’ve had freakily, if that’s a word, warm weather, in fact, 2 years ago they had to cancel the race midstream due to the heat and runners suffering severe dehydration. This year the weather was on the really cool side, perfect conditions for long distance runners and predictions were records would fall. Sure enough the 10 year old course record was broken by 1/100th’s of a second with the winner finishing in 2:05:41. That time just blows my mind. In slightly more time than 2 episodes of 60 minutes, a man ran from downtown Chicago to the Motel 6 in Dundee Road in Palatine IL. If you’ve ever watched a marathon, the elite runners appear to be mythical creatures. They fly by in a group and you can’t even hear their feet hit the ground. There appears to be no effort, no strain, no difficulty on their part as they complete their trek. It’s all in a days work to an outsider. But the truth is in what you don’t see. These people train daily, watch every single calorie they intake, analyze every aspect of their stride and improve the minutiae that will enable them to take 1/100th’s of a second off their time. That’s what a professional does. They labor in obscurity for months and years perfecting every aspect of their chosen craft until they burst on the scene in a blaze of glory. The proverbial 20 year overnight success. So many times we see a person on the screen, or in an arena, or on the microphone and think “I could do that, it doesn’t look that hard”. To achieve the appearance of ease while attempting the impossible makes one elite. It’s something I struggle with all the time. I’m smart, competent and trainable. It just frosts my cookies when I don’t master something the first time. Pretty arrogant of me. I fall prey to that nasty vice of instant gratification. Keeping the long term goal in mind and continuing to put one foot in front of the other, do one more audition, learn another monologue will keep those baby steps adding up and someday I’ll be proficient enough to run my marathon effortlessly.