Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Do Not Try This At Home

Before you hurl something in anger at the shrine you undoubtedly have constructed to me in your home or in your office, understand that the advice above is not mine for you.  It is, rather, Eddie Izzard's advice for you, for me, and for everyone. 

In addition to being an actor and a comedian, Eddie Izzard is a man with a big heart and an almost inhuman amount of endurance.  On March 20, 2016, Mr. Izzard completed two marathons.  A big deal? Maybe, maybe not.  When one considers that in the twenty-six days that preceded Sunday, March 20, Izzard had completed twenty-five marathons, perhaps two in one day is not as extraordinary as right-thinking people might consider it to be. 

Izzard did what he did for two wonderful reasons (although I have difficulty appreciating how whatever inner peace he realized from his mission's purpose offset the pain in his legs and other parts of his body).  First, the "27 in 27" was his tribute to former South African President Nelson Mandela who, while apartheid was still the law of the land in South Africa, spent twenty-seven years in prison.  Second, Izzard's odyssey raised $1.94 Million for Sport Relief, which is a British not-for-profit, charitable organization that performs its good deeds all over the world.   On Sunday, Izzard's epic run reached its appropriate conclusion:  Nelson Mandela's statue outside the Union Buildings in Pretoria.  He ran 707.4 miles in twenty-seven days.  I feel tired just typing that sentence.  I cannot envision actually living it. 

It turns out that this undertaking was not the first time that Eddie Izzard had put his heart and soles into such a Herculean effort.  In 2009, at age forty-seven (and again to raise money for Sport Relief) he completed forty-three marathons in fifty-two days in a brisk 1,126.6 mile jaunt across and around Great Britain.

If the word extraordinary does not apply to what it is he has done, both in 2009 and again, here in 2016, then I do not know the set of circumstances to which extraordinary might apply.  It is an undertaking I cannot fathom ever beginning - let alone completing.

The Master of his Fate.  The Captain of his Soul.

Indeed he is.


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