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Another inspiring book! Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an all-night runner

Well, I have to say, I enjoy reading Karno’s books (and blog).

I first read 50/50, his book about running 50 marathons in 50 days in 50 states — as in, in a row (thanks to Andrew for that tip).

I immediately had to order Ultramarathon Man. No intention of doing one (a secret fantasy, though.) Certainly a fascination.

I have to say, his description of his first 100 mile run (the Western States Endurance Run) was riveting!

Let me once again share some passages from pages I marked…

“… it became clear to me that the Western States Endurance Run would be primarily about one thing: not giving up. It really didn’t matter how long it took to get the job done; what mattered was getting it done. This was an exploration into the possibilities of self.”

“…the simplicity of running was quite liberating. … ‘Things’ don’t bring happiness. … A runner doesn’t need much. Thoreau once said that a man’s riches are based on what he can do without. Perhaps in needing less, you’re actually getting more.”

“The average obsessive-compulsive takes seven years to get help. The average runner covers 10,920 miles in that time. … I choose running as my therapy. It was the best source of renewal there was.”

“Life is rarely so neatly defined. Goals are often ambiguous and elusive. Seldom do people know exactly what is required of them to succeed. Often we think we’re moving in the right direction only to learn that the rules have changed. … As daunting as it would be to run for twenty to thirty hours straight, at least I knew what was expected of me. There would be a starting line, and 100 miles from that a finish line. All I needed to do was run from here to there.”

“Pain is the body’s way of ridding itself of weakness.” (Out of context that doesn’t sound too good, but in context, it makes sense.)

“The initial breakthroughs along the way had all been physical…. After mile 50, they had been battles of the mind. But this last breakthrough was much more hallowed, and it touched me on a deeper level than the others, more like an awakening. … It struck me in the space of a few steps that my past as I knew it had suddenly ceased to exist. Nothing would ever be the same to me from this point on. … I was more capable than I imagined, better than I ever thought I could be. This realization was like stepping into another dimension.”

“…it was no longer about me anymore; I became almost irrelevant.”

“Any goal worth achieving involves an element of risk.”

“I view running as the savior that’s brought my family together.”

“Dostoyevsky had it right: “Suffering is the sole origin of consciousness.”

The chocolate covered espresso beans. Oh, yum. Oh, heaven. What a buzz. You mean if I run, I can have those medicinally?! 😉 I’m freakin’ IN!

“The simple primitive act of running has nurtured me.”

My journey this year has been completely different than Karno’s endurance runs — and yet, in some ways, we’ve had some of the same realizations, the same sorts of awakenings. This has been a life-changing year and not just because I’ve lost some weight. I am a different person. More on that in upcoming posts.

Thu, December 11 2008 » Motivation

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