The 26.2-Mile Career
The clock reads 3:37.42, .43, .44. . . . After running for more than three-and-a-half hours, the race is coming to a close. A few more steps will end this marathon, and the 26.2 miles will be over. Similarly, people draw near to their retirement days, they often feel as if they have just run a marathon, and it is finally coming to a close. Preparing for, running in, and recuperating from a marathon parallels training for, engaging in, and retiring from a career.
In the days preceding a career and a marathon, one must prepare sufficiently. Before beginning a career, one must learn the necessary job skills either through an apprenticeship training or applied education. For instance, a doctor-to-be attends school, where he learns what procedures to follow and how to perform them. Doctors work on cadavers or models to begin with, and they practice when it does not matter if they make a "fatal" mistake. Preparation is also crucial to running a marathon. A runner trains by starting with low mileages and slow speeds, and then he builds gradually into longer distances and higher speeds. Runners learn the techniques of distance running and then practice them day after day. They go through the motions of an actual race beforehand when, like doctors performing procedures on cadavers, their performance does not actually count. Both training for a career and preparing for a marathon are essential to taking the "first step."
Following all the preparation, the marathon and the career finally arrive. After the endless training, a person is ready to engage in his career. He will take the skills he learned and apply them, putting forth a greater effort than in training. Doctors will move from cadavers to real people, using the same techniques and follow the same procedures as before, yet this time, every action counts, and mistakes do matter. In a similar way, a marathoner, after endless training, finally runs the actual race, applying what he has learned about the technique of endurance running, and, like a doctor, will put forth more effort than in training. The runner will go through the same motions as before, except that this time the run is on a different course, and it counts. Both engaging in a career and running a marathon involve taking what was learned while training and applying it to "real" scenarios.
After finishing both a career and a marathon, a person needs rest. After a long career, it is only fitting for one to retire and relax from a life of hard work. After years of practicing medicine, doctors will retire to a life of rejuvenation often by vacationing or moving away and just relaxing. Marathoners, once finished, also need a time of recuperation. A runner will replenish the fluids that he has lost and relax the muscles he has worked so hard. Often, marathoners will take long breaks following a marathon, but that does not mean that they will not run another. It will not be the same race or, for the doctor, the same career, but there are other races and careers available to be trained for, engaged in, and recovered from, just like the one before.
The processes of running a marathon and having a career require the same basic steps–training, performing, and recuperating–just in a different sort of way. Doctors learn to cut and stitch, while runners learn to pace and sprint.In either event–a long distance run or a lengthy career–if it is done well, the end result is a tremendous sense of satisfaction.
Beth Muia, at the time of this writing a PSO student in Middle School
Education, wrote "The 26.2-Mile Career" for Dr. Barbara Murray's ENGL
11010 class during fall 2002 semester. Ms. Muia is also a member of Young
Beth Muia, at the time of this writing a PSO student in Middle School Education, wrote "The 26.2-Mile Career" for Dr. Barbara Murray's ENGL 11010 class during fall 2002 semester. Ms. Muia is also a member of Young Life.