I LEARNED TO SAIL small boats as a teenager, in the frigid salt waters of Georgia Straight near Vancouver. Learning to manage a dinghy in heavy wind was thrilling, but also cold, salty and uncomfortable. My hands always hurt, and when you capsized it was nearly life-threatening!
THE NEW YORK MARATHON is the largest in the world, with 45,000+ runners. So everything about it is complicated, commercial and highly organized, from the application process (a lottery that draws 124,000 applicants) to the marshalling of runners at the start line (into almost a dozen separate “waves” and “colours”). You have to go with the flow and trust that they know what they’re doing, because you’re a very small fish in a gigantic school.