Want to know the best study break during finals week? The Dallas Marathon. This past semester, right in the middle of finals week, I found a very unusual way to procrastinate on my studying. Instead of waking up early to study, I woke up early to run 26.2 long, rainy miles. I have to be honest though, the marathon was a bit of a final itself. Let me give you a little background.
Last semester, I took a PRW (Personal Responsibility and Wellness) class called Beginning Marathon Training. The class was for “beginner” runners, and aimed to help students train for the Dallas Marathon, which was at the end of the semester. See? Kind of like a final. I had always dreamed of being able to run a marathon, but had never been able to find the motivation to do it by myself, so when I heard about the class, I thought, “Hey it’s now or never.”
Admittedly, there were times when I wondered what I got myself into, but after finishing, I would highly recommend the class to anyone even slightly interested. The class was an absolute blast! There was an awesome teacher and several fellow students to help motivate me. It kind of brought me back to my high school cross country days; it was like being on a little team!
Honestly, it is a fair amount of work. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. (Using that phrase literally and figuratively here), but let me just say, even though my legs may have felt like spaghetti the day after the race and physically walking to my Genetics final was pretty tough, nothing had made me feel more confident going into an exam than knowing I had finished a marathon the day before.
All that to say, SMU helped push me to do something I never thought I could do. I know that never could’ve accomplished this if I wasn’t at SMU, and I can’t wait to see what other amazing opportunities I find these next few years!
-Mary Parker Johnstone