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You become what you are committed to. Commitment may develop you or it may destroy you but it most certainly will define you. Jocelyn was committed to be a marathon momma.

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.

Jocelyn – 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.

On August 12th in Sylvan Lake, Alberta she completed Day 100 .

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 or if she got sick or 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.

And 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.

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

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The Marathon Monk Challenge
Year 1, the monk must run 30 km per day (about 18 miles). They do this for 100 straight days.
Year 2, the monk must again run 30 km per day for 100 straight days.
Year 3, the monk must once more run 30 km per day for 100 straight days.
In Year 4, the monk must run 30 km per day. This time for 200 straight days.
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.
Year 6, the monk must run 60 km (about 37 miles) per day for 100 straight days.
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

Happily married to Jocelyn for 44 years. We have two adult sons, Cory and his wife Lynsey and their son Vincent and daughter Jayda; Jean Marc and his wife Angie and their three daughters, Quinn, Lena and Annora. I love inspiring people through communicating, blogging, and coaching. I enjoy writing, running, and reading. I'm a fan of the Double E, Bruins, Celtics, Red Sox and Pats. Follow me on Twitter @bobjones49ers


  • Diane Shaw says:

    Way to Go Jocelyn! Inspiring for us all!

  • Lonya D'Orsay says:

    What an awesome accomplishment for Jocelyn. I am a runner too and can certainly understand the difficulties of making (and completing) a commitment like this. I am now inspired to do something like this!

  • bob jones says:

    It takes a runner to know a runner. It really is a unique culture. We are glad you are inspired ti find your own challenge. Let us know what you choose and we’ll cheer you on!

  • bob jones says:

    Thanks Diane!

  • Lori Hinger says:

    Congratulations to Jocelyn!! So proud of her and happy for her 🙂 Inspiring…

  • CD Mayo says:

    Amazing dedication and congratulations on the results of your committment. It is an inspiration! Thanks for sharing and way to go Jocelyn!

  • bob jones says:

    Yes, lots of dedication. Thanks for commenting, CD!

  • bob jones says:

    Great to hear from you Lori! Thanks for joining the conversation and your congrats! God bless.

  • Kathy says:

    Way to go, Jocelyn – commitment and follow through all the way!

  • bob jones says:

    Inch by inch…step by step…day by day = success. Thanks for joining the conversation.

  • Awesome! It is amazing how one positive habit leads to others. Brent and I made a commitment to eat no sugar, grains, dairy or legumes for 30 days, back in March. We did it, and felt great (Lost weight and inches was a bonus!). It was especially satisfying to know that we completed our goal. We are doing it again now, but I plan on continuing on through the fall. Making the positive food changes, makes me want to move my body, so I am adding in purposeful exercise.

    I find that telling others my goals and surrounding myself with support is really important. I have a few others who are on this challenge with me. And I have others who challenge me spiritually and have helped me cultivate habits of bible study, prayer and meditation.

    Congrats to you Jocelyn, I look forward to hearing of your continued journey.

  • bob jones says:

    I like the idea of sharing goals with others. It can be a great way to encourage “fellow strugglers.” Kudos to you and Brent on your change of diet and for sharing that!

  • It isn’t something that comes natural to me. I am an introvert and one that tends to isolate. A lot. So sharing and being accountable to others is a huge stretching exercise for me. But needed.

  • joanne fraser says:

    That’s awesome..good for Jocelyn!! I feel inspired now to come up with my own challenge.

  • adena lowry says:

    Jocelyn: I’m so proud of you. Running is such that with every step you are closer to your goal. Marathon training is sometimes more difficult than the race.
    Especially when you are out there by yourself, accountable to no one but yourself.

    I’ve been out there in the dead of winter ( changing gloves to stay warm), in the heat of the day with sweat stinging my eyes, and in the dark on hour 3 so ready to go home. Sometimes, when you come through the door you don’t know if you want to eat, drink,have a shower, or all 3 at the same time! my first marathon I didn’t tell a lot of people in fear I wouldn’t finish. It’s amazing to look back &see how far you’ve come! Amazing. Extraordinary endurance. it takes a lot of courage to set such high goals & more to complete them. Btw, Run Burundi is Oct. 4 in sherwood Park. 🙂

  • bob jones says:

    From one runner to another…high five. We’ll keep “Run Burundi” in mind. Thanks, Adena.

  • Tammy says:

    I read this the other day when it came out and I was very impressed at her determination and strength and courage. I even printed it out and gave it to a runner friend. I invited her to try your church too.
    Last night I was driving through St. Albert and it was hot out and I saw that marathon momma and wow! she looks great! Much more than great actually!Blessings for exceedingly abundant health! Fantastic job Jocelyn! God Bless!
    P.s. I haven’t been to North Pointe in awhile, God’s brought me somewhere else but I hope my runner friend takes me up on the offer and we pay you a visit. 🙂

  • bob jones says:

    Jocelyn doesn’t enjoy running in the heat but she enjoys breaking commitments even less, so she ran in the worst kind of temperatures to accomplish the best part of her day. Thanks for the encouragement!

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