Last February, I temporarily took leave of my senses and signed up to run a half-marathon. What’s more, this flash of madness was accompanied by a stroke of vindictiveness, because I somehow persuaded two of my good friends to register to undergo this torture alongside me. The next two months were a blur of perpetually sore legs, god-awful, hungover Sunday “long runs” and a constantly buzzing group text comprised of 10 percent motivation, 10 percent running tips and 80 percent b*tching about our next run. But come mid-April, all three of us finished the 13.1 miles with respectable times and unlimited bragging rights that we have run a half marathon.
While this is definitely something I try to work into conversation as often as possible, it’s quite narrow-minded to define “marathon” as some long distance run. Personally, I’ve completed “marathons” that I’m much prouder of than some measly 13.1-mile run. For example, last winter break I marathoned (is that a verb? Is now! #trendsetter) “Breaking Bad” (2008-2013) and watched all five seasons in under three weeks, which is both quite impressive and extremely embarrassing. I also regularly wait until the last minute to begin preparing for exams, resulting in marathon Tisch study sessions — and when I say marathon, I mean marathon: We’re talking 14+ straight hours of a self-controlled computer, absolutely no sunlight and shamelessly ordering every meal to Tisch.
So really, marathoning is more a mindset than anything else. You can marathon anything, really: The key is just to go to the absolute extreme, and if anyone expresses concern about your actions, tell them moderation is for wussies. Having a stressful week at school? Bravely attempt a sleeping marathon; with any luck, you’ll pull a Rip Van Winkle and not wake until after finals. Having an even more stressful week at school? Fearlessly undertake a drinking marathon, where your goal is to avoid sobriety for as many hours as possible. To make things extra exciting, inform everyone of your plan and have your friends take over/under bets on how long you hold out. (It may also be a good idea to inform TEMS of your plan, but definitely invite them to get in on the gambling.)
Or, if you’re a guy/girl after my own heart, begin a procrastination marathon, where you put off doing anything productive for as long as possible. Extra points if you don’t even check your email, you rebel. On the flip side, if everything in your life is just piling up on you (and eloping with your Netflix password isn’t an option), pursue a caffeine marathon, where you accomplish absolutely everything in the world on an electric mix of coffee, Monster and chocolate-covered espresso beans. I can’t speak for the guys, but from personal experience women really can live on caffeine alone for at least 48 hours. But maybe an eating marathon’s more your style — the key to really pulling this one off is to remember that it’s a marathon, not a sprint. I know it’s easy to get over-excited when you walk into an all-you-can-eat buffet, DPH or Dewick, but if you start off stuffing your face, you’ll run out of steam very quickly and only be able to finish a measly three or four plates of food (and that’s just embarrassing).
So, long column short, the takeaway here is that you can jack up anything you’re doing to a brag-worthy level as long as you tack on the word “marathon.” It’s a game-changer, to be sure, but be careful not to overuse, or else you’ll just be that kid who marathons marathons — and that’s just weird.