Skip to content

Endorphin Junkie

September 16, 2011

Editor’s Note: David Marshall is Maddie’s brother. He’s also an Ironman. Read his story of waking up one morning and realizing he wasn’t living to his full potential. Thank you to David for sharing your incredible story!

{race bling}

WARNING: This blog post will differ from other CIAJ posts. It’s not written by someone named Maddie or Jessica nor is it a commentary of a cultural event, neat local activity, or a delicious recipe. Rather, it’s a short tale of how a confused 22 year old kid added meaning and happiness to his life.

Break-Ups. We all experience them; often stomach wrenching and difficult, a break-up is where this story begins. Late last summer, following ‘the’ break-up I was thrust into a state of questioning. A crisis of sorts, I started doubting who I was and where I was headed. Surely this wasn’t where I saw myself! Through my struggle, one question came to the forefront of my thoughts:

 “If I were to die today, what have I accomplished, how would I define my life?”

I realized I was a 22 year old punk that hadn’t done anything with my life—I had nothing to show for myself. While it may seem a bit morbid, this idea motivated me and helped refocus my aim. Desperate to begin adding accolades to my life’s résumé, I decided I would run a marathon—essentially a complete whim.

With zero training, I drove up to Moline, Illinois and ran the Quad Cities Marathon on September 26th 2010. At the time, this was the most surreal experience of my life! Due to the sudden nature of my race, no family was at the finish line to congratulate me; I had even decided to travel without a cell-phone so I couldn’t call anyone to brag of my accomplishment. Instead of celebrating or boasting with others, crossing that finish line was a moment of pure self satisfaction and reflection. Less than 1% of the world’s population has completed a marathon, I was now apart of this exclusive club. By finishing I had proved to myself that I was tough enough.

{run, son}

Like an addict, I needed more! Over the next 6 months, I would run 3 additional marathons. The Route 66 Tulsa Marathon, Surf City USA Marathon in Huntington Beach, California, and the GO! St. Louis Marathon. All were tremendous races and experiences but my endorphin tolerance was hitting a plateau. I was looking to test my mind and body in new, more challenging ways…

I was introduced to the sport of Triathlon early this spring. As you may or may not know, an Ironman is the ‘Mount Everest’ for Triathlon. It is a 140.6 mile race consisting on a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and a 26.2 mile run. This would be my next conquest; I wanted to be an Ironman. With only a few months of training and crash course preparation, I raced the Louisville Ironman on August 28th 2011. A few brief sentences cannot describe that day—I will not attempt to, however, my sister did so rather eloquently.

{Ironman – beginning the marathon}

Almost a year has passed since I began my journey of living my life to the fullest. Looking back I am a much happier individual. Rather than self-doubt, I have my sights forward, wanting to push my mind and body to new limits. My next adventure will be a 100 mile ultra marathon in November….stay tuned.

I am not usually one to preach, but if you take anything from this post, take this: LIVE NOW, DON’T WAIT. Too many people plan to accomplish grand feats in their lifetime but fail to follow through. Life moves too quickly! Whether it’s a marathon, a dream vacation, or going back to school–if you want to do something, GET OFF YOUR ASS AND DO IT!

Do It Now,




P.S. My sister, Maddie of CIAJ, will be competing in her very first marathon next weekend at the Quad Cities Marathon. Wish her luck and look for her race blog coming soon.

Four sport enthusiast: golf, swim, bike, run. You can follow more of David and his race endeavors here

6 Comments leave one →
  1. September 16, 2011 10:42 am

    This is actually quite inspiring, makes you realize that all it takes is determination and a little training but mostly just that will to do something with your life. Great job David, you are truly an inspiration.

  2. September 16, 2011 10:54 am

    This is an amazing story! Way to stand up and push yourself to give your own meaning life! Congrats David! Good Luck Maddie!!

  3. September 16, 2011 3:21 pm

    Great post David. I ran my first half marathon at the Go! STL. It was the first time, in a long time that I could say I was really proud of myself. Training to do the 1/2 in the upcoming Rock & Roll. Thanks for a dose of inspiration!


  1. Watercooler « City In A Jar
  2. Going the Distance: 26.2 at 25 « City In A Jar
  3. ironman in training. « City In A Jar


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: