By August 13, 2014 18 Comments


You become what you are committed to. Commitment may develop you or it may destroy but it most certainly will define you.

When you talk about commitment think of Mount Hiei, Japan – home to the “Tendai” or  “Marathon Monks.”

The Tendai are required to run “The Kaihogo” – that’s why they are known as the “Marathon Monks.”

Incredible Commitment

“The Kaihogyo” is a 1,000-day running challenge the monks undertake over seven years.

In the 7th year they must run two full marathons, everyday, for 100 consecutive days, wearing only paper shoes. (See below for full details of the seven year Challenge) The sheer volume of running is incredible but there is one final aspect that makes The Kaihogyo unlike any other challenge…

…during the first 100 days of running, a monk is allowed to withdraw from The Kaihogyo. However, from Day 101 onwards, there is no withdrawal.

My Wife – The Marathon Momma

After reading about The Kaihogyo, Jocelyn decided to set her own running challenge – 100 consecutive days of running between 6km to 8km each day.

Jocelyn had completed a full marathon, a couple of half-marathons and some shorter distance runs. However, she had never run more than 3 days in a row, even during our marathon training.

So, while small compared to a Tendai’s 1,000-day challenge, this was enormous for her.

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Jocelyn’s Challenge

Jocelyn started on May 5th, 2014.
She ran at 5:30am some days to accommodate her schedule.
Sometimes she ran late at night because of commitments during the morning and day.
She ran in the snow…the rain…and through pain.
Sundays were the hardest because that is her busiest day.
She ran very early on our granddaughter Quinn’s birthday because of her party plans.
She ran just a few hours before our son’s wedding.

She completed Day 100 on August 12th in Sylvan Lake, Alberta.

She is our “Marathon Momma!”

3 Lessons From A Marathon Momma

1. There is sheer fulfillment when you finish something you thought you’d never start.
Running 100 days in a row was something Jocelyn felt she should never undertake.

What if she couldn’t run every day?
What if she got hurt?
What if she got sick?
What if she failed?

However, she made a commitment to herself and she found the will to finish.

2. Every commitment has a turning point.
Turning points make or break you.

Jocelyn’s turning point came very early…on Day 3.

After running that day, she went shopping for the dress she would wear on our son’s wedding – 85 days later.

The dress she loved was 6 sizes smaller than what she usually wears.

She bought the dress.

Jocelyn made the decision because she knew that if she kept her commitment she could keep and wear the dress. It was a turning point.

She changed her eating habits.

She changed her sleeping habits.

She changed her priorities.

If you have something that is important to you, you learn to eliminate the stuff that holds you back – the unhealthy habits; the unimportant tasks – and you discover over time that you don’t miss them.

3. Day 101 was the beginning of the next challenge.
Accepting challenges can become addictive…in a good way.

Jocelyn lost 35 pounds during her 100-Day Challenge.

She feels better…looks better…even thinks better.

Jocelyn learned a lot about herself.

The discovery goes on with the next challenge…

The 6 x 52 Challenge

Run 6 days a week for the next year.
Cover between 6-8km/day.
Read the Bible 6 days a week for the next year.

Day 101 became Day 1 of the new challenge.

APPLICATION: Why not leave a comment below for Jocelyn and share with her what your challenge is.


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The Marathon Monk Challenge
During Year 1, the monk must run 30 km per day (about 18 miles) for 100 straight days.marathon monk
During Year 2, the monk must again run 30 km per day for 100 straight days.
During Year 3, the monk must once more run 30 km per day for 100 straight days.
During Year 4, the monk must run 30 km per day. This time for 200 straight days.
During Year 5, the monk must again run 30 km per day for 200 straight days. After completing the fifth year of running, the monk must go 9 consecutive days without food, water, or rest. Two monks stand beside him at all times to ensure that he does not fall asleep.
During Year 6, the monk must run 60 km (about 37 miles) per day for 100 straight days.
During Year 7, the monk must run 84 km (about 52 miles) per day for 100 straight days. And then, he must run 30 km per day for the final 100 days.

Bob Jones

Author Bob Jones

Pastor at North Pointe Community Church for 27 years. Happily married to Jocelyn for 38 years. We have two adult sons, Cory and his wife Lynsey and their son Vinnie; Jean Marc and his wife Angie and their three gorgeous daughters, Quinn, Lena and Annora. I love being a pastor and inspiring faith in Jesus through communicating, blogging, counseling and coaching. I enjoy running, reading, writing and ball hockey. Fan of the Esks and Pats. Follow me on Twitter @bobjones49ers

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