Marathon is a tiny Greek town 24.85 miles from Athens and means “fields of fennel.” The Persians landed in Marathon in 490 BC hoping to crush the last Greek city/states of Athens and Sparta. No bueno. The Greeks stood at least these two city/states did. King Darius was sent packing.
Fast forward a decade and Darius’s son, Xerxes, came knocking at Thermopylae. The “Hot Gates” were where the Persians ran into a few thousand unified Greeks from many more cities/states. You see, Greece, after the story of Marathon spread, had become more united, more one. So, when the Persians came back for a redo they were greeted by a more unified front. The Persians would win the battle of Thermopylae but lose the war in the following sea battle at Salamis. Today, while talking with Dimitris (our cycling guide) he lamented that there is really nothing to see at Thermopylae. We’ve mostly forgotten those that died so democracy might live. Dimitris and I took some time to remember and be grateful for those that taught us a team could defeat a ton of enslaved Persians.
So, leader, set your team free and teach them responsibility too. Tell them the story of Marathon and the fight for freedom in the fields of fennel. The fight for freedom is truly a marathon. Keep fighting with a marathon mindset. Keep fighting in fields of fennel. Keep fighting for right, friends. Keep bookending freedom and responsibility. Thanks, Sparta and Athens for modeling the way. Thanks, Dimitris, for the ride and reminder. Good.
Live hard. Love harder (Thanks, Teeks)…