You are better than you think you are, you can do more than you think you can!
These are the words of Ken Chlouber the founder of the Leadville 100.
This quote pops into my head time and again. It hit me most recently around mile 31 of the Highland Sky 40 miler. I had hit a rough patch, was tired, cramping, light headed and "just doing my best" to keep moving forward when the quote entered my mind. It provided a bit of a reset, I was approaching a literal high point of the race, within the "boulder field." I stopped, looked out at the amazing view, stretched, took in a couple deep breaths and continued on with newfound energy.
As it was in this scenario, I commonly get a mind shift in an ultra, where I get taken out of the race and back into life, the bigness around me, and the insignificance of the present moment. I've run enough ultras to know that the pain is only temporary and many times, within minutes of finishing all of the pain and misery are quickly washed away.
You have to push yourself to find your limit. I realize that many people just don't care about their limit, that's fine, but for me and many people I know, the training, the quest, the failures, the successes, and the few times you get to ride that limit, oh yeah, that's what it's all about. You learn that things aren't really that tough, that you can get through "it," and that life goes on.
So many people say that they "can't imagine" running 3, 5, 10, 100 miles. Whatever you believe is the limit, why not go out and push it. See if you can achieve it. Maybe you can, maybe you can't. Regardless you'll learn something in the process about the endeavor and yourself. That's the real accomplishment.
Start dreaming up your next big challenge, there are so many places to begin.
It's easy to live in the bell curve, but what is the fun in that?
Happy New Year, may it be all that you want.