Why I’ve Decided to Run a Marathon (Liberty In Action)

August 23, 2016 update: I thought about pulling this post from my website, but I think it’s best to leave the post live with this update.

I continue to struggle with my mental battle with exercise (as described in point #2 below). This training experience has left me emboldened to face my fears, but after dealing with panic on multiple long runs, I’ve decided that it’s best for me to face my fears by starting on a smaller scale. Check out this article to better understand what I’m battling.

While I’m no longer planning to run in the 2016 Madison Marathon, I haven’t quit – nor have I surrendered to fear. I’m taking baby steps in the right direction, and I am never ashamed of that – even if my progress is slow. I hope you’re emboldened to face your fears in the same way, even if you need to adjust your approach from time to time!

It Was a Typical Sunday Morning…

The Sunday morning of June 26, 2016 started out like any other typical Sunday morning in my household. Get up, do a little computer work, greet the rest of my family as they roll out of bed, get ready for church, have breakfast – and possibly get out the door on time for a 10:30 AM church service.

But Sunday, June 26, 2016 turned into a day unlike any other I’ve ever had in my lifetime. Because at church that morning, I listened to a man speak about his experience running across the United States of America (from Los Angeles to New York City) in support of a nonprofit organization called Team World Vision. And during that church service, I made the decision to run in the Madison Marathon coming up this November.

I ran a 10k a few years ago, but I’ve never run a marathon before. So that day – Sunday, June 26, 2016 – is the day I decided to exercise liberty in completely new ways in my life. I shared the news about my choice with Pursuit Nation last night during my first training run via Facebook Live:

(Be sure to like LTP on Facebook to catch my future Facebook Live videos in real time!)

Exercising(!) Three Liberties

There are three reasons related to liberty that influenced my decision to run in the Madison Marathon this November:

1) I Possess the Individual Liberty to Choose a Healthy Lifestyle

I have 24 hours in my day – just like you and everybody else in this world. Thanks to individual liberty, I possess the right to choose how I will spend my time each and every day. In recent years, I’ve exercised intermittently at best. But hey, I’m a husband, a father of two young boys, I work, I run LTP, and I [insert additional excuses here]…

The fact is that I possess the individual liberty to choose to exercise or not exercise. On that Sunday morning, sitting in church, I decided to make a different choice. And as of last night, that choice is impacting the way I spend my time.

Choices are tough. It’s just as Amelia Earhart said, “The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.” But recognize the beauty of choice. Yes, sometimes choices are sometimes difficult, but they empower you to exercise individual liberty in the truest sense.

Choices are sometimes difficult, but they empower you to exercise individual liberty in the truest sense. Click To Tweet
2) I Possess the Individual Liberty to Face My Fears

Back in 2013, I was dealing with significant anxiety. Long story short, the choices I had made in life leading up to that point left me feeling completely overwhelmed. Eventually, my anxiety led to crippling panic attacks – which eventually led me to a spiritual breaking point on the Monday before Thanksgiving, 2013. Since then, I’ve overcome most of my anxiety through deepening my faith in Christ and by making better life choices.

But a big, hairy, stinky gorilla still hangs on my back. Exercise is a hurdle that I’m yet to clear as it relates to anxiety, because think about it. What happens when you exercise?

  • Your heart beats harder and faster.
  • Your breathe more intensely.
  • You sweat.
  • Your adrenaline gets going.

All this stuff is supposed to happen when you exercise. It’s not supposed to happen randomly. And yet it’s exactly what I experienced during my panic attacks. The long term result? Exercise has freaked me out since 2013. And I’m tired of it.

Thankfully, I possess the individual liberty to face my fears. My choice to run a marathon is also my choice to deal with my anxiety about exercise. Individual liberty empowers me to work through my fears if and when I desire to do so. And I choose to no longer be captive to the fear of exercise.

Fear is something that will accompany us all throughout life. I hope my choice to face my fear inspires you to face yours as well!


3) I Possess the Economic Liberty to Help Other People in Need

The third reason why I’m choosing to run is most exciting. As you know, I’m a big fan of private charity. Economic liberty empowers us all to support other people in need through private charity. By joining up with Team World Vision, I’m putting my actions and my dollars where my mouth is – and I’m giving YOU the opportunity to do the same!

Team World Vision is “the largest non-government provider of clean water in the developing world – reaching one new person with clean water every 30 seconds.” Their projects are “sustainable, comprehensive, and complex.” Their water projects “run in harmony with [their] other key areas of development: health, education, food, and economic development.” As such, Team World Vision “tackles the root causes of poverty” and enables people to “experience fullness of life.” (Learn more about Team World Vision here.)

So yeah – I’m a big fan of this organization!

My goal is to fundraise $10,000 for Team World Vision by running in the Madison Marathon. If you’re likewise a fan of helping other people in need through private charity, will you please exercise your economic liberty by donating to my marathon run right now?

All donations are tax deductible, and it would be amazing for me to know that every stride I take during training and the marathon itself has the full support of Pursuit Nation behind it!

Thanks in advance for your donation! I’ll keep you updated with my progress!


Have you ever ran a marathon or half-marathon before? If yes, what was your motivation to exercise individual liberty to make that choice? And have you ever used an event like this to give others the opportunity to exercise economic liberty through private charity? What private charity did your efforts support?

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Ross Brown
President at LTP
I'm a 2007 Luther College grad trying to make the most out of every day. I enjoy spending time with my family, charcoal grilling, downhill skiing, double IPAs, fine scotch, going to church, jogging, Texas Holdem, fishing, reading, and watching the Green Bay Packers dominate the NFL.

I'm passionate about passion. Whatever you're passionate about, go do it!