The wild adventure of life took me into uncharted territory Monday morning starting at 3:30am when I woke up and started filling water bottles and piling them in front of my house with a few Band-Aids. I then put a little pile of stones on the ground under the mailbox.
Why? Sometime on Saturday I decided that I’d wake up early Monday morning and try to run a marathon. The water bottles and bandages would be my aid station, and the little pile of rocks would be used to keep count of each lap I did around my town. 10 laps around town would make approximately 25 miles, then after that I’d keep running until the GPS on my phone said I’d reached 26.2 miles. With each lap, I’d put a pebble on the mailbox to keep count of my rounds.
Why am I really gonna’ get scolded for this one? I’m told you’re supposed to train for things like this. Um, I sorta’ . . . skipped that part.
Running a marathon hasn’t been a long time goal of mine or anything. I exercise three times a week and run about a mile to and from my exercise class but I hadn’t been training. The longest run I did was The Great Aloha Run about 6 years ago. It’s a little over 8 miles and I struggled through it. In fact, I was a wrestler in high school and we were always butting heads with the track team. Running always seemed so boring to me. So, what caused me to do something like wake up and run 26.2 miles? What caused my change of heart? Well, I was inspired.
I love listening to audio books on my phone. Seriously, I listens to so many books! I recently listened to the following books (all true stories):
“A Life Without Limits” by Chrissie Wellington. Basically she showed up unannounced and starting winning Ironman triathalons and breaking world records. A very candid and entertaining book, and a very well read audio.
“Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen” by Christopher McDougall. An amazing adventure, entertaining, educational and inspiring.
“50/50: Secrets I Learned Running 50 Marathons in 50 Days — and How You Too Can Achieve Super Endurance!” by Dean Karnazes. One day, this guy decides he’s going to run 50 marathons, 50 days in a row in all 50 states. A great read.
It was primarily these three books that changed my thinking and got me out on my feet, and soon led to my decision to go for a marathon.
After 5 1/2 hours of running 26.2 miles, believe me, I’ve got tons of analogies, thoughts, lessons, and all that. But, here’s the one that I want to share in this blog post:
When you are inspired, take action.
Was I 100% sure that I was going to make it? No. Did I go ask all my friends if they thought it was a good idea? No. Actually, I didn’t even tell anyone, not even my wife (although she had a feeling I was up to something). My gut told me I could do it. So, I did.
What if I decided not to try because of fear of failure? What if I ignored my gut instinct that said I could do it?
The answer is easy. I’d be sitting here at my computer thinking to myself, “I wonder if . . . I wonder if . . .”
My message is definitely not intended to inspire reckless behavior. My intention in writing this post is to inspire you to take that leap of faith in life, business, entrepreneurship, sports, or whatever, and try. And if you fail, try again, and again, and again.
We all receive bursts of inspiration or motivation, or whatever you want to call it. When you feel the drive to do something that is not logical, not completely planned, and would not be considered prudent by a panel of experts, but your gut says you can, remember, Nate says, “Go for it.” I’m cheering for you!