Everything You Need is Already Inside

Nike has some great marketing, and this video gets me every time.  It makes me want to push, I don't know if it's the song, or the flashing images of people doing superhuman things, but it really inspires me. "Just Do It" has become cliché, but as slogans go, it has gone beyond the commercials and entered the athletic lexicon. It has defined a generation of athletes from Bo Jackson to Michael Jordan to Lance Armstrong, athletes who push the boundaries of possible.

My favorite comment about this blog came from a friend of mine the other day,

"I read your blog."

"Did you like it?"

"It was okay, but I'm glad I know you and I know that you have other interests because if I didn't know you, I would think this guy needs to get a life."

This is from a guy, we'll call him "Adam," who lives in the Santa Cruz mountains in a house full of cats and without TV or internet. He goes to something called a library for computer access and I like to send him links of male strippers dancing to loud techno music, so when he opens them in the library, everyone around knows how awesome he is.

Adam and I made a bet during the football season over a Steelers-Chargers game (I bet on the Chargers).  The Steelers did, in fact, beat the Chargers, so next weekend I will be attending a Padres-Orioles baseball game in a pink Steelers women's t-shirt, size belly-exposing-small (I'll post a sexy-time picture next week). With Nike's "Just Do It" drilled into my head since adolescence, it's hard for me to say no when confronted with a challenge.

Last week I asked if Kara, a friend and ultra-runner who is running the San Diego 100 (that's miles), needed anything.  I was talking about extra gels, maybe some gaiters, a few prayers, but this friend emailed back, saying if I'm up to it, would I pace the last twenty miles.  Of course I said yes, I would love to pace the last twenty miles of a 100 mile race through the middle of the night.

A few days ago I got an email asking if I would be the 5th member of a team competing in the Camp Pendleton Mud Run next weekend. They were looking for someone with a 5k time between 16 and 20 minutes, which is a pretty big range, so again, I said yes.

I tend not to think about these decisions too much before I make them, the self doubt will come later, sometimes it comes on the course.  But, as I prepare for a 50 mile race in October and a double crossing of the Grand Canyon in November, I try to remember why I do these things, why I don't have much of a life and why I am so passionate about running.  It's the challenge, and the sense of accomplishment that comes with taking a challenge that I know I may not be able to complete, overcoming the doubt and surprising myself..that is the feeling that I am addicted to.

That is why I am so excited to pace my friend to the finish of the San Diego 100, because even though I am not yet ready to take on the challenge of a 100 mile race (I have a few other goals I want to focus on first), I would never turn down the opportunity to stand at the finish and witness the accomplishment and the emotion that accompanies this type of challenge.

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