Rolling with the crowd I do, I have no shortage of opportunities to convene with individuals who accomplish incredible feats in athletics – people who climb mountains, run hundreds of miles, people who see the outdoors as their playground and who hit recess time with an appetite that is not easily satiated.
Lately, I have found myself consistently drawn to learning more about those in the group who have accomplished (and continue to accomplish) a feat that often goes unsung. That would be the group of people who consistently get out there and do it everyday.
Sure, this practice is not necessarily supported by physicians and athletic coaches. It doesn’t abide by some of the more basic laws that govern peak training. It doesn’t assure that an athlete is taking his recovery seriously. It doesn’t guard her against burn-out. It doesn’t even encourage the chi balance of moderation that we seem to be seeking in everything we do from career advancement to feng shui interior design. But it has caught my interest. And that is enough for me to know I won’t rest easy until I have explored it up close and personal. Which, I suspect, is how I landed in this group in the first place.
So, what gives? Have a look at this Wall Street Journal article: Life Lessons from a Father's 30-Year Running Streak This Harvard doctor runs 2-3 hours each morning!
And he is a card-carrying member of U.S. Running Streak Association, a group that boasts 31 members who have been running daily for 30 years or more, wherein running daily is defined as running “at least one continuous mile a day”. For more information, have a read: A 30-Year Running Streak, Still Going Strong (December 5, 2008)
So, I am accepting a challenge: to streak for one year. The challenge starts today and anything short of running the minimum one mile a day between now and December 7, 2009 will personally be considered a DNF by me. And those are three letters I am looking to avoid like the plague these days.
Why do I take on this challenge?
This is not really my year to ask why. So to answer this (admittedly, rhetorical) question, I steal the words attributed to Prefontaine’s coach Bill Bowerman to his Men of Oregon:
Gentlemen if you can find meaning in the kind of running you have to do to stay on this team...chances are you can find meaning in that other absurd pastime: Life.
And how do I feel about the challenge on day # 1?
In the immortal words of Kirby Kager in St. Elmo’s Fire, “I’m obsessed, thank you very much.”
Stay tuned..and let me know about your own streaking habits!