This is one of those weeks for me. A marathon week. But not just any marathon week. This is an Ultra Marathon Week.
On Saturday I am registered to run my first Ultra (defined as any distance longer than the typical 26.2 mile marathon). The race I have chosen is the North Face Endurance Challenge for the Southeast Region. 50 kilometers of potential torture. For those of you who are not runners or don’t live in England, a 50k is 31 miles.
The race will be run over single track trails in the FDR State Park in Pine Mountain, Georgia. There will be over 6,000 feet of elevation change during the race. I know no one who is signed up for the event. No wing man. No prior experience at this distance. No roads. No way out.
Training for this thing has meant a lot of lonely off days logging an insane number of miles. I have been called crazy more than once. I have even wondered if I am stable myself.
The whole experience has shown me that there are four things required for anyone who wants to achieve anything worth achieving. It matters not whether it is running an Ultra or building a great company. Having a strong family or learning a new discipline. All four are needed.
The rest of the week I will share them with you. Today we begin with perhaps the hardest of the four . . .
The truth is, I have been wanting to do an Ultra for the past couple of years. The reason I haven’t? I have never signed up for one.
I find it is easy to talk about races I want to do, books I want to write, places I want to travel, the list goes on and on.
But until I actually sign up, my dreams are just dreams. There is something about filling out the form and paying the entry fee that puts it all on the line for me.
My hunch is there is something you need to sign up for. It might not be a race, but there is something you have been considering, and yet it still remains only a dream. A race, a book, a blog, a trip, a language, a job change? I dare you to sign up. Double dog dare!
It remains to be seen whether I can pull this off or not. I can tell you this though. If I had never signed up I would have had no chance to accomplish my dream.
If you want to accomplish something that is on your “Ultra” list, you must sign up.
What do you need to “sign up” for over the next few weeks?
For more information on The North Face Endurance Challenge visit http://www2.thenorthface.com/endurancechallenge/
Randy, I just got back from the Catalyst conference last week and it was incredible! I kept looking for your name on the list of speakers, but it wasn’t there…maybe next year!?!?!
One of the speakers, Eugene Cho (pastor from Seattle, WA) talked about this very thing. He said too many people are more interested in loving the story rather than living it. We would rather talk or think about things we would love to do than actually do them!
My favorite part was when he described an actual sign in a hotel staircase that read…”In Case of Fire, Exit Building BEFORE Tweeting About It.” We are often so in love with a good story that we forget to live it!
I am glad you are “living” it in this endurance race! I am going to play chicken and sit this one out…
thanks Chris. Great comment!
Great insight! How true it is, if we don’t take the very first step nothing else will happen. It is truly amazing that you are participating in this endurance race. You will be in my thoughts and prayers to get through this demanding torturous run. The cool part is HE will be with you every step of the way!
“Make no small plans; they have no magic to stir men’s souls.” Daniel Burnam
Great quote Bob.
Good Luck Randy !!
Don’t think and never ask yourself why. Just keep moving and breathing.
Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.
-Henry David Thoreau
Thanks for the advice Jon!
whoa! you just finished! you go dad!
Thanks Baby Ruth!