Yesterday we swung by the public library in Sulphur Springs, Texas and chatted with the librarian there about our journey across the country and The 100 Mile Club. It struck me how easily the explanations roll off my tongue now. I have inadvertently defaulted to a script about what we are doing and why.
Yes, The 100 Mile Club is a charity. Yes, we are fighting childhood obesity. Yes, we encourage kids to run 100 miles in a school year.
But if I am honest with myself, The 100 Mile Club—to me—isn’t about those things at all.
A few days ago right after a really bad spell of freezing rain we huddled into the Lazy T Lodge in Throckmorton, Texas. Pat had started a conversation with another guy who was staying there and mentioned my book. He also mentioned that running had changed my life.
This dude looked at me in disbelief. “RUNNING changed your life? Really?” He couldn’t imagine how. Yes, it sounds cheesy but very true.
I explained to him how it wasn’t the running but the realization that I could do so much more than I had believed. I never thought I could finish a marathon, or 50 miles, or 100 miles… but I did all those things multiple times. The follow-up question: “What ELSE can I do that I don’t believe I can?” changes your life because pretty soon you’re doing every awesome thing you ever wanted to.
That’s what The 100 Mile Club means to me. It’s an opportunity for kids to learn years before I did that they CAN do more, one step at a time. If I had known that at age six or ten or twelve, my life would have been even more different. And the lives of these kids will change forever.
It’s bigger than running. It’s bigger than sports. Yes, it’s great to stay active and fit but more important to me is that moment when a kid realizes that his or her secret dreams can become reality, even outside the track.
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My hamstring felt better this morning as me and Pat set off towards Sulphur Springs and knowing we had a holiday tomorrow was a good feeling. The weather wasn’t looking good and was raining a little pretty much from the start. About half way through the day it started to piss down and we got wet to the skin but it only lasted a hour or so but the temperature was still warm.
When we got to first aid stop our special guest all the way from Australia Lincoln Budge was ready to come run with us. Lincoln was over in Colorado and just last week up in Alaska for a trip and came down to get a few miles in with us. I was so happy and stoked to have him come join us. I meet Lincoln in Japan 2 yrs ago when he was competing in a Chair…
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