I’ve never run a marathon before. I’ve never actually run a legit half-marathon. I’m positive I’ve covered that distance in the woods on my own, but nothing organized. The longest organized race I’ve ever done is an 11-mile Tough Mudder. But it was exactly what I was looking for since retiring from professional sports… Competition. After that Tough Mudder early this September, I was hooked. So I did what any normal person would do, sign up for an ultra-marathon. A 50K to be precise. And I should mention it’s an Ultra Trail Marathon (U.S. National Whitewater Center – 50 Ultra Trail Marathon). That piece is vital. They say if you’ve ever done a marathon to double that time to figure out how long it would take you on the trails. Get this: the winner last year of the WC – 50 ran it in 4:56:08. So it should take me anywhere between five and 8 hours to complete. Oh boy!

A 50K is by no means crazy. But crazy is what many have called me upon hearing about my upcoming race. It might be because I gave myself a mere 3 weeks to train for the event. “Prepare” for the event is more like it. But to me, it ain’t crazy. Have you ever heard of the 100 or even 200-mile races? Now that’s freakin’ nuts! Either way, I reckon we’re all a little crazy in our own way.

You may be thinking… “Why the heck would you do this?” “Why now – why wouldn’t you want to properly train for the run?” And these are all good questions. Ones I’ve been pondering myself. And here’s my answer. I know three things for certain:

  • It’s going to be hard. Really hard! But anything worthwhile is.
  • And it’s going to hurt! Really bad. But you know what they say, “no pain, no gain.”
  • The gain will be far greater than the pain. Great things never came from comfort zones. Growth is achieved by moving out of our comfort zones. And like every good man, I love a challenge. I want to test my ‘mettle,’ see what I’m made of. I want to fight and CONQUER those demons in my head that shout, “you can’t do this” … “this is impossible”… “You’re going to fail.” I want to grow and stretch myself. I want to kick complacencies arse!

It’s more than the run. It’s never just about the event itself. And it’s that way in this case as well. We set boundaries on ourselves. We live in metaphorical prisons by convincing ourselves of borders that can’t be crossed, obstacles that can’t possibly be overcome. Why do we do this? Is it because it’s never been done before? Or is it because someone or society said we couldn’t do it? Yes, and yes, and so much more. There are way too many reasons to list.

“When was the last time you did something for the first time?” I was asked this recently and what a great question! When was it for you? This race will be one for me. I can’t wait for October 14th! Whatever happens, it’ll be a success, because I’ll be doing something for the first time, crushing my comfort zone, tearing down boundaries, freeing myself from the limits I’ve shackled to my mind and ultimately becoming more of the man God created me to be. Heck to the yeah!!!

Instead of “why?”, maybe we should start asking ourselves, “why not?”

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