The number 40 has always symbolized endurance, struggle, and adversity.
Take Noah and the animals: they endured 40 days and nights of rain.
Or the Jews: they had to wander in the wilderness for 40 years.
Or Jesus: he fasted 40 days before kicking into mission mode.
Take me in high school: ever trying to gulp down (and hold down) "the 40"
Or the 40 mile hike in the Smokies we do every couple years or so.
And now there's a new one: Two weeks ago, I ran in the Triple Lakes Race - a 40 mile endurance race around three lakes (believe it or not) in Greensboro.
Speaking of believing it or not - somehow I got fourth place! A total surprise to me. My watch had malfunctioned and had added a solid hour to my time. Plus, the last fifteen miles I didn't see a soul. I spent a good chunk of it wondering if I made a wrong turn (which would have been the end of me, because I had no clue where I was and I didn't have any gas left in the tank!). Needless to say, it was quite the adventure.
Which leaves me with this question: what 40 challenge will be next?