Ode to Godin

Does everyone know who Seth Godin is? If you answered “No” please open a new tab and Google him immediately because he’s awesome and he will bring excitement and drive into your life! You can meet him HERE or HERE or HERE.

Seth Godin is an important guy to know. He’s out there in the big big world pulling for us every single day. He says things like, “I’m going out on a limb. Want to come?” And he writes books that tell us exactly why and how we should abandon worry and embrace change, explaining what it means to unleash ideaviruses, celebrating that we’re all weird while encouraging us to find our niche.

Seth asks, “What will you create? Who will you help? What connection will you make? What will you dare to care about?” Then follows it up with, “Choose to matter in a way that aligns with who you want to be.”

He is a beautiful force that I feel lucky and grateful to have recently discovered. In fact I’m so inspired by his latest book What To Do When It’s Your Turn (and it’s always your turn), that I’m modeling this year’s blog after it. Each post I write will come from an idea in the book. I can’t wait to see what sparks!

Thank you Seth for rockin’ life! This one’s for you.

Nobody Doubts Scott Jurek!

Scott Jurek is the man. As of yesterday he is half way through the Appalachian Trail, on track to beat the speed record and make it almost 2,200 miles from Georgia to Maine in a mere forty two days.

Forty two days!! That means he’s averaging over 50 miles a day. On foot.

I was talking to Timmy O’Neill on the phone today. He’s a climber out of Boulder hoping to join Scott at some point on his trek once he gets up into New England if he stays on track.

I couldn’t believe he said it that way. If he stays on track… IF?!!

This is Scott. Fucking. Jurek.

This is the man who won the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Race seven years in a row. This is the man who ran on the white lines of the highway so the soles of his sneakers wouldn’t melt on the pavement of Death Valley and soaked in coffin sized coolers full of ice on his way to dominating Badwater (twice) – a 135-mile race usually held in mid-July when temperatures soar above 120º with no shade. This is the only American to win the 153-mile Spartathlon, which he did three times in a row! And for a while he held the record for most miles run in 24 hours (166!). And he’s decent and good and determined and kind.

You don’t doubt Scott Jurek!

Yet the uncertainty in Timmy’s voice continued. Because you never know what surprises you’ll face he said… and some useless rant about unexpected injuries.

I’ve never met Scott but there’s one thing I know for sure even so. He is not the kind of person you doubt. He is the kind of person you believe in and then he just comes through. At no point does it get complicated. Believe in him and he will come through.

Questioning someone like Jurek’s ability to conquer a seemingly impossible task is the epitome of Eckhart Tolle’s teachings about worrying – it’s a complete waste of time. What is the benefit of casting a shadow?

Who cares about the possibilities of negative outcomes? What in the world could be the point of focusing on them? The only things we need are loud heartfelt cheers of joy and wonder! Run Jurker Run!

In Scott’s words this is going to be his masterpiece. I don’t have even the tiniest trace of doubt of his impending success. Here’s to 20 more days on the trail! I wish I could be at Katahdin to see him finish.

Scott Jurek you are a rock star and an inspiration!

Track his journey on Instragram here.

 

Inspiration Overload

My goodness.

Friday night I finished reading Misty Copeland’s book Life in Motion about her unlikely rise to the top of the ballet world, making history as the only African American soloist dancing with American Ballet Theatre. She is a beautiful rock star of a woman. You can witness some of her magic and inspiration here.

On Saturday my sister and I took the dogs for a walk in Chautauqua Park where the Flatirons are in Boulder and Anton Krupicka ran right past us. Yah. The ultrarunner I wrote about when I was preparing for the Honolulu Marathon… three years to the day actually. I wrote about him on April 11th, 2012 and saw him at the flatirons on April 11th, 2015.

There is something so ethereal about his running. Talk about being born to run, he floats across the earth effortlessly just like Misty Copeland spinning across the stage. It was like catching a glimpse of an elusive wild animal.

Then Sunday I read Amy Purdy’s book, On My Own Two Feet, in a single afternoon. After contracting bacterial meningitis at age 19, she not only endured full kidney failure and beat her 2% chance of survival, but went on to win bronze in snowboarding at the Paralympic games in Sochi… without feet. She had to have them both amputated because her body had sacrificed them to septic shock in order to save her organs.

Two days after returning from Russia Amy joined the cast of Dancing with the Stars and of course, because she’s ridiculously amazing, she and her partner Derek Hough ended up in second place. You can witness her magic and inspiration here.

So I’m feeling pretty rejuvenated and inspired. Knowing these people exist and seeing the amazing things they accomplish amp me up to get out there and bring on the happy.

This move to Colorado has not been easy. For the last six weeks I’ve been quietly binge eating junk food and drinking a ton of beer – there’s a microbrewery on every corner for goodness sake. I’m confident I made the right choice to come here, but I’ve been stuck in a wave of moods regardless.

Now I’m ready to put the discomfort and frustration behind me and find whatever groove this next chapter of life will bring.

Thank you Misty, Anton and Amy for arousing me from my snooze. It is much appreciated!

 

 

But Seriously… he and his team are AMAZING!!

You know that thing where you discover something incredible and it gives you hope and energy and passion and excitement? It awakens something inside you that had kinda been laying dormant for a while, and you can’t stop thinking about it so you tell everyone within earshot including complete strangers and you blast it over the internet so everyone you can reach is completely sure that this thing is totally awesome and they should really be paying attention?

OK so that…

You can watch the entire BLINDSIGHT movie (in which Erik Weihenmayer and his awe inspiring crew take six blind Tibetan children 22,000 feet up into the Himalayas) on Hulu for free!

And it’s mind blowing and inspiring and beautiful and thought provoking. So don’t be an idiot.

Watch this movie.

And then write me a recommendation letter so when I apply for a job with these fine folks they can’t help but shred all the other resumes and hire me on the spot.

Thank you and good night.

Holy Crap This Guy is Amazing!

Originally I planned to do a half marathon (13.1 miles) yesterday up at the Gunstock Ranch – the same one I did two years ago with the cows and the donkeys. But then I found out about Erik Weihenmayer and plans immediately changed. After seeing a blurb about him giving a speech at UH Manoa that was open to the public and free, I picked up his book Touch the Top of the World, about him summitting Denali, and was enthralled from page one.

This man has been everywhere and climbed everything. He’s one of very few people to conquer the Seven Summits – the highest peaks on each continent including Mt. Everest! – he’s made his way up The Nose of El Capitan in Yosemite, he skis, skydives, kayaks the Colorado River and the list goes on and on. So OK there are a lot of adventurous climbers in the world, what makes Erik so special? Well, he’s blind. 100% completely and totally blind since age 13. And he didn’t start doing any of this until after he lost his vision.

He travels the world speaking about living a No Barriers Life. The motto is:

What’s within you is stronger than what’s in your way.

I hated bailing on the half but couldn’t miss the opportunity to see him speak so I devised a win/win plan. I put my running clothes on, laced up my sneakers and ran six miles to the event in a delicate rain. Afterwards Tropical Storm Ana was really kicking in but I ran home effortlessly in a downpour, adrenaline coursing, easily completing twelve miles on the fuel of his words.

Erik Weihenmayer’s accomplishments are extraordinary but what really hits home for me on a personal level, is that he does something very few motivational speakers do: he acknowledges the struggle and the suck. So many mystics and speakers will tell you it’s all so easy, anything is possible, you just have to “let go”. It can feel condescending, not to mention incredibly frustrating, when you’re having a difficult time with something that’s holding you back. But Erik says something more along the lines of, “No this is hard and it takes strength and commitment and discipline. A lot of times it’s gonna totally suck.”

He’s funny and sarcastic and human.

He continues saying, “We’re gonna rope up and get through it together.” Roping up is what climbers do in extreme environments like two foot wide ridges above 20,000′. If one person falls, everyone’s falling. So you dig in your ice ax and catch them.

Suffice it to say I was blown away on a much deeper level than anticipated. I feel like I found a kindred spirit. Maybe I don’t succeed as often as I’d like, and I’m certainly not climbing Everest with my eyes closed anytime soon, but what I’m always trying to do is show the whole picture: the success and the failure and all the work in between.

I went online and took The No Barriers Pledge:

I pledge to view my life as a relentless quest to become my very best self,

To always view the barriers in my life as opportunities to learn,

To find ways to work with others to build teams, serve those in need, and do good in the world,

And to push the boundaries of what people say is possible, for only I know the potential that lies inside of me.

After perusing their website I laughed when I realized the No Barriers organization is located just outside of Boulder, CO. So now I have a new unexpected goal: figure out how to work with these guys when I get there.