Taking Leaps of Faith Are Scary — but Necessary

Such leaps build confidence and inspire more courage.

Merre Larkin


Marathon medals
Photo by author

It was 2010, the first year that it was offered. I didn’t know until I went online to sign up for the Boston Marathon in the fall of 2009. It would be my 5th Boston, so I knew the drill.

However, the website said you could sign up for Boston (if you qualified, which I did), AND you also could sign up simultaneously for the Big Sur Marathon. Boston on Monday, Big Sur on Sunday, referred to as Boston 2 Big Sur.

Should I? Could I actually do it? I had no idea. I told myself I’d think about it. But I needed to sign up soon, or I’d lose my bid for a spot running Boston. So I did it. I took what felt like a giant leap of faith in myself.

I do this from time to time. A lot, actually. I firmly believe we all should. We are all capable of much more than we think we are. I know I am, and I’ve worked with many people who’ve achieved amazing feats, not knowing if they could or would. Sometimes, you need to push yourself to try.

You know the old adage, you don’t know until you try.

It’s hard to do, though. I get that. But when you try for something that feels out of reach, and you achieve it, it feels like you can conquer the world. I think we all need that feeling sporadically throughout our lives.

I’m not saying I wasn’t scared after I signed up. I was petrified! I’d never done more than two marathons in a year, one in the spring, and one in the fall. That was my usual routine. These marathons would be my 11th and 12th. In one week!

I trained as I always had. When the Monday came to run Boston, I raced it slower than usual, knowing that I’d have to follow it up with Big Sur the following Sunday.

I did minimal running the week between the two marathons, a few miles here and there to stay loose. Sunday morning, I woke up at 4 am to catch the bus to Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, where the Big Sur Marathon would start.

I had no idea how this would go. Would my body be able to take this second round of 26.2 miles in the same week? I guess I’d find out.



Merre Larkin

Writer. Life coach. Educator. Marathoner. Survivor. Avid reader. Here to share, here to learn.