• Mark Villani


If I died today, would I think I was “good enough?”

What would I do if I woke up this morning and this was the last day of my life?

I suppose I’d be disappointed. I would never have made a million dollars, I would never have been the lead anchor on a network news station, I never would have had my own talk show or had millions of followers on twitter — all before the age of 30 no less.

I never would have qualified for the Boston Marathon. I never would’ve made it to the the Olympics or fulfilled my childhood dream of playing in the NHL... that’s long gone now! ;).

I never would have experienced what it was like to get engaged, to get married, to have my own kids, or to be a father.

I never would have reached my full potential.


It’s November 12th, 2019. The beginning of the 25th year of my life.

I hadn’t accomplished any of the above things on “my list” but somehow, I felt clear on this fall morning.

Well.. sort of.. perhaps things were a bit fuzzy.. 

Meet my childhood friend, Alex.

He’s the one you who introduced me to White Claws — a beverage famously known as the “vaping” of drinking.

Ain't no laws when you drinkin' claws

Alex and I were in New York City to celebrate my birthday and enjoy the sites on the trip of a lifetime!

So we met up with his friends... and we drank... a little too much.. ;)

Totally "sober" in this picture
Chilling on the rooftop

It was a fun few nights filled with some incredible bars, some amazing comedy shows and an insane amount of food!

Tiramisu the size of your face!

New York is a different world. There’s flashing lights everywhere, blaring horns, the smell of exhaust mixed with fried food foods sifting into the cold air and the daily insanity of millions of people trying to squish themselves into those moving containers, better know as “the subway.”

Times Square @ 3:00AM

It was beautiful. We saw it all.

I slowly became immersed into the culture of New York’s art museums.

I was mostly impressed with famous pieces like Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup drawings.

This blue paint really spoke to Alex.

And of course, my personal favourite... “Oof”

The Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum was just.. well.. pretty creepy.. Tom Cruise wants to eat your soul!!!

"Help me, Tom Cruise!" - Ricky Bobby

And the Incredible Hulk “almost” got me...

We saw a couple games too!

I lived a lifelong dream of watching my ‘god damn’ New York Jets play at Met Life Stadium.

They totally blew a 14 nothing lead...

You don’t know heartbreak until you cheer for these idiots...  Shockingly they won the “toilet bowl” against the New York Giants.

We even caught a Rangers versus Penguins game at Madison Square Garden. It’s the most famous stadium in  all of sports and I was there.. kinda neat... I guess...

I’m a leafs fan, but I can certainly appreciate the passion.. An overtime winner with a “HEY HEY HEY” to cap off an unforgettable night!

We randomly saw Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest (So cringeworthy... Honestly a solid 6/10 show at best). It started at 7am... and Alex and Inwere two of 8 men in line... I needed a drink for this.. and I almost never drink..

I was already so hungover but after some good ol’ Four Lokos — a special concoction of alcohol and caffeine — we were good to go! (GREAT idea, Alex..)

And of course an NYC trip isn’t complete without touching the bulls balls near Wall Street for ‘good luck’

So much luck...

Overall, it was an absolute blast!

For a few days I escaped the stress of my day-to-day life and then it hit me...

The dreaded “quarter-life crisis” on top of the Empire State Building.

I looked out at the entire city. It seemed like an entire world.

I could see the iconic skyscrapers, the famous landmarks like the Statue of Liberty and Central Park and all the new developments to be.

It made me realize that all of this came from nothing. It all started from a blank canvas — one with endless possibilities.

The “city of my life” might not look like New York yet, but I’ve built something to be proud of.

I don’t know where my career will take me, I don’t know if I’ll be able to afford a house anytime soon, I get anxious almost every single day and I can’t help but stress out over not having all the success I could have ever wanted.... but that’s OK.

It’s because life isn’t about what you don’t have. To me, it’s about being grateful for what I do have.

I woke up in a warm bed this morning, with clean clothes, healthy food, a career I’m proud of — and most importantly, my friends and a family I love so dearly.

I travel to new parts of the world every year and it’s amazing to think of all the places I’ll go.

Life is about the experiences and the people you share it with — For me, that comes in the form of running a marathon — to others it’s something else.

The unknown can be viewed as a “crisis,” or it can be viewed as a whole new adventure.

HAMBURG MARATHON TRAINING STATS (Mid November to beginning of Dec, 2019) Week 16 - 30.0 miles (48.28km) Week 17 - 29.9 miles (48.119km) Week 18 - 38.3 miles (61.638km) Week 19 - 36.9 miles (59.385km) Total distance to date - 729.38 miles (1173.823km)

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