19 Days – Life is empty and meaningless. It is in emptiness that we create possibilities for extraordinary results.

When my alarm went off on Saturday morning, the last thing I wanted to do was to begin my 33 mile journey. But despite my feelings, I crawled out of bed, laced on my running shoes and headed out to a chilly and raining California day. As warm and sunny as it is here, when the Santa Anas pick up, this can be rather uncomfortable. About 15 minutes into my run, I relaxed into the meditative state where running brings me. I couldn’t think of the miles ahead, I just had to let go of my mind and let my body perform. This is another valuable lesson that my yoga classes has taught me. After completing 13 miles, I was tired and all I wanted was a warm bath, a hot cup of cocoa and my bed. But in order to accomplish 20 more miles the following day, I knew that I couldn’t do that. I stretched my legs as I filled my bath tub with ice cold water. Quickly, I placed both my feet into the water and lowered myself in. My body winced with the shock of the cold. ‘Just sit down, just SIT down,’ I told myself. I knew as soon as I was in, my body would adjust. I started my stop watch to make sure I wasn’t in there for longer than 10 minutes (or I would risk hypothermia) and skimmed through my Shape magazine as I endured the cold. My toes started to go numb at about 7 minutes… that is when I pulled out.

The next day was more of the same, only a little earlier this time. I had promised my friend Sandi a day of wedding dress shopping, so my 20 mile run needed to start before the sun came up. It was even colder, no rain, but I was smart to bundle up a little more on this one. My legs were a little tired from the day before, but I pushed through it slowly. 2 hours in, I knew I could accomplish it. 2 hours and 11 minutes in, I thought I would have to give up. It went back and forth like this throughout my run – highs and lows on either end. But I jogged up to my apartment less than 2 hours after this, once again filling my bath tub with ice cold water.

I picked up a book this weekend called ‘Between A Rock And A Hard Place’ by Aron Ralston – better known as ‘the hiker that cut off his own arm.’ It was Dean that encouraged my last year around this time with his book ‘Ultramarathon Man’ and now it is Aron doing the same thing. I went into the book looking for an inspiring story and what I found was a kindred spirit. Aron gets his kicks pushing his body to it’s limits, testing himself and therefore becoming a survivor of life. Someone who doesn’t coast through, but someone who loves it and appreciates it so much, he could take a pocket knife to his right arm to fight for it.

I smiled as I created my own ultramarathon in Burbank this weekend, reflecting on the pages I had read. That’s me too. I get that. Life is worth fighting for – and I am in for the long haul!

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: