Lessons from the Knysna Forest Marathon

Image Source: 9lives

In July, I was lucky enough to run the Knysna Forest Half-Marathon with some of my close friends and family.

The race consists of a grueling route through the beautiful Knysna forests and mountains. I had trained fairly intensely and was aiming to do my PB for a 21km run.

We stood around in the cold for about 2 hours before the race. This gave us time to psych ourselves up and get our minds around the mammoth task ahead of us. Needless to say, by the time the gun sounded we were quite antsy and ready to go!

After about 6 or 7 km's into the race, I suddenly realized that I had been so focused on sticking to my desired pace that I had completely ignored all of the beautiful scenery around me.

I looked around and enjoyed the views, but within the next km or so, I again found myself focusing more on the figures on my watch than enjoying the experience of being involved in such a prestigious race.

For the remainder of the race, I had to continuously reminded myself to take note of the awesome views around me.

The strange thing was that as I focused more and more on my spectacular surroundings, I thought less about how tired I was and how sore my legs were getting. By the time I crossed the finish line, I was chuffed to see that I had beaten my previous PB by 10 minutes.

This was a valuable lesson that reminded me to consider where I place my attention during the day to day rhythms of my life.

We fill our lives with so many distractions that we often find ourselves ignoring the beautiful world around us. Whether we are trying to complete our to-do-lists, planning ahead for the next big event or just experiencing emotional and physical aches and pains, we have more than enough excuses to not open our eyes and focus on the many wonders in the world around us.

Sometimes, if we are willing to focus on the beauty in the world, we will be surprised to find that everything else might just be a little bit more enjoyable and easier to deal with.


"Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name; by the greatness of his might and because he is strong in power."

Isaiah 40:26

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