I met the greatest teacher during the Disney Marathon this past Sunday. Better than the great martial arts masters I trained with over the years. Better than the college professors. Even better than my dad who, when I was young, knew everything. Or so I thought.

The Teacher was almost everywhere on the course, yet few actually saw him. He show up at the most unexpected times, taught the lesson and vanished. Perhaps that is why scarce numbers actually bore witness.

The lessons as you may imagine were powerful, yet easily understandable. Simplicity with a dash of flare, as if daring the student to test it out immediately.

There was an equal dose of boldness and bluntness. The Teacher was far from subtle. Subtle is for those who want to inch along in life. I was running a marathon. I wanted undaunted and heroic. At 50, I do not have time to waste playing connect-the-dots.

I have been blessed with the gift of keen observational skills and over the years, have honed them. During the event, I noticed many things. A couple ran by, complaining about the distance, the weather, the course and a handful of other factors. They didn't need to even speak, as their body language, characterized by hunched shoulders and sunken chests told the full story.

Moments later, a trio trotted by with smiles as bright as the noon day sun. Same distance, same course and the same weather, yet they were having a completely different experience. The couple saw everything that was “wrong.” The trio noted how the rays of the sun danced on the lake. They commented about the wildlife that was going about their morning routines, despite being interrupted by the footsteps of 26,000 people. They not only saw beauty but became beauty, paying it forward to anyone who wanted. Santa Claus with Asics.

While running up Main Street USA in Magic Kingdom, the sound was as loud as a Van Halen show. Thousands lined up the street to cheer their loved ones and be a part of this oh so special annual event. About midway, I spotted a familiar pair of big, beautiful green eyes. My wife was there, supporting me as she always has. All of a sudden, it became unusually quiet, as if someone had turned down the volume knob. I found silence in the middle of noise.

The roads in between the Parks can feel long and rather quiet. While on route to Animal Kingdom, I noted how loud it was inside my own head. How could such a cacophany of sound coincide with the relative silence that surrounds me? The most noteworthy part was the pointlessness of the inner dialogue. Noise, impure noise, in the middle of the opportunity for silence.

Perhaps the deepest lesson was between Miles 1 and 4. For reasons unknown, I was having a terrible time in the beginning. It was work, getting started, continuing to move and knowing that 25 more miles are still ahead. Work was the last thing I wanted. I dove deeply into my serious self in an attempt to ascertain the reason behind such a puzzling reaction. I waited all year long for this event and now, this was my reaction?!

Little by little, a feeling started overtaking my being. Like gently waking to the ocean, the more I ran, the lighter I felt. I was. . . .having fun. I was playing, something I do too little. I am good at serious. I am great at work. Play is my arch-rival - my best friend who moved away and visits all too frequently, despite promises to the contrary.

Play is a lesson in itself. Perhaps the ultimate lesson. Within play, I realize the complete foolishness of living life in such a serious fashion and how serious it can be. The paradox becomes clear – it is both the class clown and the austere, poker faced professor.

If Play was a baseball field, life is at its best between the white lines. Outside the lines and the green grass is where seriousness lives. It is the place where seriousness squeezes the life out of Life, draining every ounce of color from our eyes. Product becomes king. Process is scorned.

Within the field of Play, Life is a joy, an experience worth experiencing to its fullest. We find the inner freedom despite the outer laws. We find pleasure in a world wrought with pain. We discover goodness, and recognize it is we who are the goodness that we seek.

Yes, these were the magical lessons my Teacher passed along during the 2014 Disney Marathon. If you ever do this race, I would encourage you to seek him out.

Just ask for him by name.

He is called Contrast.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. David Orman is the creator of the best selling anti aging and health enhancing formula, Doc Wellness Formula, found at DocWellnessWorld.com.