On Thursday night I will join iMichelle, Christian Burke, and Melissa Cabrera at the Los Angeles premiere of Ultramarathon Man: 50 Marathons in 50 States in 50 Days, a Dean Karnazes documentary. If you're reading my blog, chances are you have read or at least heard of Dean's book UltraMarathon Man. If you have not read it, check it out if you are looking for some inspiration. I am amazed at how many non-runners have read the book and have told me how it changed their perspective or calibration of what is humanly possible.
I grew up fascinated with endurance sport legend Yiannis Kouros (I adopted that pseudonym on my public library card in Michigan City, Indiana at age 14). Later I discovered Goran Kropp, who rode his mountain bike from Sweden to Mt. Everest(carrying all of his gear), summitted without oxygen, descended to base camp, and then rode his bike home to Sweden. I have a special interest in studying those who have a unique ability to defy and even demolish notions of human endurance limitations. These days, guys like Scott Jurek, Mike Kloser and Navy SEAL David Goggins are defying the odds and redefining human endurance, in their own unique ways.
What are your limits? How do you know?
Pushing these limits is not only about the cliche Ego, or personal demons, or validation. Some sincerely need to explore their limits, out of morbid curiosity. Such is the case with so many runners who try a marathon, then a 50k, then a 50 miler, then a 100 miler, then maybe Badwater 135 in Death Valley...in every race they feel every possible emotion, an experience shared with every other finisher, and a permanent impression on the amygdala that keeps them coming back for MORE.
"Only those who risk going to far can possibly know how far they can go"