I’ve had some realizations lately – 

and I can sum them up quite simply:

People suck.

OK, that’s the harsh, short, exaggerated version. But… there it is.

So why would I think that?

Person A:
“I want to run a marathon!” /  “Let’s go do a 5K!” / “I signed up for an obstacle course race!” / “Wanna come with me to the gym?”

Person B:
“You’re nuts.” / “That’s crazy.” / “You have fun with that.” / “Yeahhhhhh….no.

…I have a problem with this. And you should too. This is a symptom of a bigger problem.

“A bigger problem”?

Think back to “Person A / Person B” and allow me to elaborate on “we suck”:

We reject that which we can’t comprehend/envision for ourselves.

It’s pretty plain to see, I think. Anything outside of our comfort zone…it all falls under the umbrella of “crazy”. People, when offered a chance to step outside their comfort zone and participate in something unconventional…usually don’t even take it seriously and give it thought. A quick dismissal is often the best you get. But it gets worse.

The dreamers are stifled.

All too often this rejection of the “crazy”…the disdain and reproach that is given as a response to these relatively big dreams…is delivered in such a way that “Person A” feels stupid. Feels discouraged. No longer wants to try.

My question to “Person B” is simple.

What are you so afraid of?

Sorry to get all “hippie” on you, but who decided what “crazy” and “normal” are, anyway? Who’s the “crazy” one, really – the guy who takes charge of his life, loses 100+ lbs and eventually runs a marathon? Or the guy that spends his free time turning the couch cushion into a mold of his less-than-firm ass?

Get out of the way. 

There is no room for negativity and roadblocks in this life. We are getting lazier, less ambitious, and less adventurous as time goes on. I have a message for “Person B” – get out of the way of people who want to reach higher. Just because you have gotten too comfortable with “normal” doesn’t mean others can’t break out and do something “crazy”.

And y’know what, “Person B”? Get out of YOUR OWN way – WHO SAYS you can’t go run a 5K? WHAT’S SO BAD about going to the gym? After you WORK YOUR WAY THERE…is a Marathon really so outlandish?

Join me. I dare you.

I am stepping off the deep end, and I dare you to do the same. 2016 is officially the Year Of The Ultra. I will be running:

– 5 Marathons
– 2 6-Hour Ultramarathons (shooting for 30+ miles)
– 1 8-Hour Ultramarathon (shooting for 30+ miles)
– 1 50 Mile Ultramarathon
– 1 30-Hour Ultramarathon (shooting for 100 miles)

Yes. I’m going to attempt to run 100 miles in one whack. Yes, prior to that I will run 50 miles in 12 hours or less (that’s the time limit). Those marathons? The 6-Hour and 8-Hour races?

Honestly…I’m supposed to run 20 – 30 miles those days anyway as part of my training…so I might as well get a medal for it. Hah. Yes, 5 marathons and three 6+ Hour Ultras will be TRAINING runs for me next year.

This plan is going to beat the crap out of me. I’ll be running 50, 60, 70 miles per week. I’ll be cross-training in the gym to stay strong to handle these runs. I’ll need lots of fuel all day long, and Cape Cod Nutrition Corner is going to be coming up BIG for me in that department (they’re sponsoring this whole adventure). But in the end…I think I can tackle it. And if I don’t hit 100? Well, at least I tried. And damnit…I’ll try again later. One way or another, I will finish a 100 mile ultramarathon.

Pretty much everyone I tell about this calls it “crazy”. Know what I say? There is nothing crazy about this. “Crazy” is an opinion. So is “normal”. 

It’s all relative.

“Normal” is simply another way to say “this is where I’m comfortable”. We don’t grow by staying “comfortable”.

Three years ago I had never “gone for a run”, and now I’m staring down over 2,500 miles in 2016. If I had never gone for that first run a 5K would still seem pretty out of reach. If I never started this fitness journey I’d probably be looking at me sideways too. I’d never have known that seeming “far off” and being “impossible” are not the same thing. I’d never have realized that there is no ceiling.

Maybe, just maybe… we should learn to appreciate the bold, daring choices of our peers. Perhaps we could learn to look at these chances people take as a level of bravery we should aspire to. As hope that we, too, can one day achieve something so great.

Maybe, just maybe… if we can all be a little more open…try a little harder…and always take that next step…

we might just accomplish some amazing things.

What’s so crazy about that?