The Marathon Monk

By: Tony Papajohn

The next time you are having trouble breaking a long-term goal down into bite-size pieces, remember “The Marathon Monk."

Genshin Fujinami, 44, recently finished a bit of exercise.

Over 7 years, he covered 24,800 miles.

A Buddhist priest of the Tendai sect in Japan, “the Marathon Monk" is only the 46th monk since 1885 to complete this ancient running ritual through the Hiei Mountains, a range of 5 peaks
that rise above Kyoto.

The ritual dates to the 8th century and is considered a path to
enlightenment.

In each of the first 3 years, the pilgrim rises at midnight for 100 consecutive days, prays, and runs 18 miles, stopping along the way for more prayer 250 times.

In the next 2 years, he extends this regimen to 200 days.

In the winter, the aspirant gets a break.

During the 5th year, he must spend 9 days chanting without food, water, or sleep.

In the 6th year, he walks 37.5 miles each day for 100 days.

In the 7th year, he walks 52.2 miles for 100 days and then 18 miles for another 100 days.

He carries only candles, a prayer book, and a sack of vegetarian food.

And, for a bit of extra incentive, he is bound to take his own life if does not finish the grueling ritual.

Of all the possible ways one could look at this achievement, consider it a goal-setting exercise of amazing proportions.

Imagine the countless series of incrementally smaller and smaller goals necessary to achieve such a monumental task.

Fujinami had to set yearly, monthly, weekly, daily, and hourly objectives of distance and prayer time to finish the mind-boggling run.

No matter how large the taskHealth Fitness Articles, you can accomplish it with a series of step-by-step goals and sustained determination.

Motivation
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