December 9, 2023


The Marathon Runner/ Review of the film by Zbigniew Gajzler / Dr Agnieszka Malczewska – Błaszczyk

5 min read

The Marathon Runner is another moving film by the famous director Zbigniew Glajzer. A document devoted to the history of Mr. Krzysztof Jarzębski, a disabled cyclist from Pabianice – an athlete from his early youth. Showing that the limitations are only in our head, and that, contrary to appearances, only those who experience something on themselves are able to fully understand others in similar situations.

The oversight and initial medical misdiagnosis led Mr. Krzysztof to five amputations in the area of ​​his legs, leading to their complete loss. The word cancer he heard is often like a sentence for many people, but not for him. It shows that you can after all. An example is that “struggle”, perseverance, and steadfast faith bring success. As he says himself: it is most important to be determined, believe, and win. I decided to go from Warsaw to Łódź in an ordinary wheelchair. – This is my everyday life. However, after a few kilometers, the first obstacles, fatigue, and blisters on his hands appeared, which were also not a problem for him, because he coped with it, although it required a lot of determination (blood and sweat). He was also strengthened by the participation of the media in the entire project and the fact that his dream of participating in the Beijing Olympics was fulfilled. Which was also beautifully shown in the documentary.

Ultimately, it turned out that due to financial reasons, the Polish representation was not sent there. Then he said: hard… it will be the world championship – it cost me too much! Other people with disabilities wrote to him, who began to follow his example, which, as he noticed, was a motivation for him. After some time, he was already an affiliated member of the club and got funding for a professional wheelchair. Logistically, he planned further ventures – Zakopane – Gdańsk. Initially, the obstacle was the lack of funds, but he still did not give up. He called the cities where he finished his marathon, said that the issue was accommodation and nothing else. As he notes: a few times they refused me, but a few times it is not taken into account, it is important that I did. It sets the next sections of 70, 80 km, goes despite 45 degrees heat with the statement: In two weeks I should be in Gdańsk as planned. After accomplishing this feat, I already knew that I was on what I wanted to do. These were the beginnings and full grounding in plans for the future, which was beautifully shown in the film documentary.

When he started with other disabled competitors, they ordered him to finish the marathon, because it turned out that he was too fast, he won and is still second to none, he is unrivaled, so he decided to go from Łódź to London in a wheelchair. He started driving through the Czech Republic, then Luksenburg. In England, he had a problem with left-hand traffic but realized. He has set himself another goal – to cover the 500 km route in 24 hours from Berlin to Pabianice. They qualified him to break the Guinness record, which they will actually achieve, but due to the specificity of the non-sport categories described there, he gave up. Then 100 km continuous driving on time. here with the assistance of the police. The journalist asked him what he wanted to prove? that I matter in the world, he replied. He would like to compete with the best in the world.

When we are going in the right direction and the mountain is favorable for us, we receive the support of our relatives and neighbors, just like in the story of Mr. Krzysztof.

As his doctor says: Mr. Krzysztof was very determined from the very first day of his fight with the disease. Every day we met, he had determination in him. The will to fight, and the fact that he will not succumb to cancer. It is one of the few features that not all of us have… This patient is respected not only by other patients but also by cancer doctors ”.
And he himself perceives disability as a different movement position. It gives hope and support to other disabled people. It embarrasses many able-bodied people.

As he says: despite the limitations: I want to live, I want to function … I have accepted that I have no legs and adjusted the world to the position in which I am today. Ever since he became a media person, every day is an adventure for him.
The document of Mr. Zbigniew Glajzer shows with all the smallest details the extraordinary story of a man who, despite his physical and financial limitations, achieved what he dreamed of, and even more. It is a kind of biography of our hero’s path to success, who achieved success thanks to his extreme determination. Despite the limitations, he still remained an athlete, starting alone, then competing with the disabled, and eventually competing further than anyone before him. He is an exceptional man, a marathon runner in a wheelchair, the world record holder for the longest distance covered in 24 hours without a break. Therefore, the title of the film perfectly relates to the content.

Life is a constant challenge, if someone loses goals, he also loses the meaning of life, but if he sets a new goal, but sees only limitations in pursuing it and accumulating obstacles, he should definitely change the strategy. There is a statement: Who said it would be easy? If we care a lot about something and it comes from the needs of our heart, and we put the maximum of our efforts into it, so strongly that we cannot fault ourselves that we did not do something on our part to achieve it, then everything in heaven and earth will favor us. Because what are the other options that we have not considered? These possibilities appear to us suddenly and unexpectedly. Helpful people and all kinds of opportunities. Being in apprenticeship during my first studies of Therapeutic Pedagogy and the following years working in other professions in contact with people, I saw many people in a difficult mental state, whom I had to help and show what they do not notice in order to return to normal. It is a challenge. Many people do not appreciate what they have. If someone is suffering today and thinks that his life is pointless, let him watch this film all the more and treat it as a beginning of reflection.

dr Agnieszka Malczewska – Błaszczyk -holistic therapist, life counselor -Institut EsoPositiv

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