What did I learned from running in a loop from 6 in the morning until noon? This past Sunday I ran the Vista View 6 hour race in Davie, FL. It was one of the coolest, painful, and eye opening experiences I have been a part of. I wanted to share some life lessons I learned that can help you over come obstacles and live a more successful life.
Lessons I Learned Running for 6 Hours:
1. Sometimes the best preparation is belief.
As I mentioned in my previous blog post (Inspired to Insanity) inspiration and belief are powerful drivers. The most I had run in the past 4 or 5 months was 80 minutes. I was not running consistently because of a calf injury. Now here I am attempting to run for 6 hours after listening to talk given by ultra-marathon man, Dean Karnazes. Logically it did not make sense but I knew that this was more about my mind deciding. At about the halfway mark my body started cramping and shutting down. I just kept putting 1 foot in front of the other because I decided that I would finish no matter what. (Preparation in the long run is the way to go but sometimes you need to go for it.)
Create a belief, decide what you want, then go after it.
2. We are capable of more.
When we put our minds to it, I believe we are capable of just about anything. This experience showed me that I am able to push past my comfort zone, pain, physical and mental barriers. Life gives us daily tests that are not always pass fail. With each test we are re-enforcing, callusing that decision. Each test is an opportunity to get more experience points and strengthen your beliefs.
Today is a great day to go a little further than we are use too. Challenge yourself to get out of your comfort zone and explore the other side. There is a great quote I read that said, “Pain is inevitable but suffering is optional.” Go to that place of pain and like it.
3. Persist and get your second wind.
This was eye opening to me. I mentioned that at about 2 hours and 45 minutes my body was fighting me, wanting to stop, cramping. I forced myself to keep going. After about 2 hours of this my body snapped out of it and I got my second wind. When I started the race I was running each lap in 9-10 minutes. Then my body started crashed and I was running the loops in 17-19 minutes. When I got my second wind about 5 hours in, I started running 11-13 minute loops.
Life is about persevering. No matter how bad things get if you are strong and patient enough you can weather any storm.
4. Survival is not enough.
What becomes more apparent to me now is how many people go through their days with a survival attitude. No I am not talking about cops or people who risk their lives. I am talking about people that just look forward to getting the day over with or just get to the weekend.There is so much that each day has to offer. Don’t let those opportunities pass you by because you are just trying to survive. Live each day fully. You are in control of how you perceive your circumstances. Don’t believe me? Youtube a man named Nick Vujicic, then tell me that perspective doesn’t make a difference.
Running for 6 hours gives you lots of thinking time. I was able to really see how each runner out there had a glorious story they had created for themselves by placing one foot in front of the other. Don’t survive grow.
5. Your support can determine your success.
These ultra-marathons races may seem self-centered, individualistic but that is further from the truth. Most runners will tell you that the fans to the other competitors to the support crew has an impact as to whether they will be able to finish or continue. Who are you surrounded by? I know that on race day if it wasn’t for my father being there I don’t know what I would have done. He ran by my side holding water and encouraged me to take it one step at a time. I know that because my wife told me to go for it because she knew I could do it even though I was ill prepared made all the difference. Do you surround yourself with people that will support your, coach you, cheer for you in the good and the bad?
To be successful in any endeavor create that nucleus of people that wont let you quit. The people who expect you to succeed.
6. I need to run more.
The final point I learned is obvious. I need to run more if I want to compete. Not so apparent is that I need to run more for me. Running I feel for me is truly an expression of my spirit. I love running. What you need to decide is what is your “running”? Is it singing, painting, swimming, what ever it is do it and do it often. Create that space for you, where you can explore your core. I know that sounds a little out there but I find that most people are afraid of finding their true self. As Marianne Williamson famously said, “It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us…”
Will you search for your light today?
Many blessings and I hope you enjoyed taking this journey with me.