Marshall Ulrich

Marshall Ulrich

People are brought into our lives for a reason. Whether it be for you to help them or vice versa. In the present we don’t always know the reason, but looking back we can start to see patterns. Someone may have just needed a little compliment or words of encouragement. People may just need someone that hears them without any preconceived notions or judging. In today’s world, it can be difficult to slow down and pay attention to change or new people in our lives.

I find the same applies to books. Every book has a hidden gem in it written just for you. It is a way that your subconscious is sending you a message. There may be doubt, questions, or comfort needed that you may not be fully aware of and reading allows the brain to relax enough to signal answers. There have been many stories of asking a question, taking a , open to random page and you will have your answer. It is about letting go for a moment and listening.

This past week I started reading Marshall Ulrich’s Running on Empty. It documents his adventure at the age of 57 crossing the United States on foot. This is not his first venture as he has done it all and then some to make it more challenging. He has climbed Mt. Everest (along with the other 6 Summits), crossed Death Valley 4 times simultaneously (total of 23 times), and competed in all 9 Eco-Challenges. Through this adventure, I have heard myself in his thoughts. From asking why am I doing this to it hurts like hell and feelings of guilt for spending so much time on the run. He was asked to talk to potential Navy SEAL recruits to provide them some tips on surviving training camp. From that, he put together these 10 Commandments of Endurance:

Ten Commandments of Endurance (Marhsall Law)
1. Expect a journey and a battle.
2. Focus on the present and set intermediate goals.
3. Don’t dwell on the negative.
4. Transcend the physical.
5. Accept your fate.
6. Have confidence that you will succeed.
7. Know that there will be an end.
8. Suffering is okay.
9. Be kind to yourself.
10. Quitting is not an option.

I understand this thought process as it went through my head for my first ultramarathon. There are times when it hurt and then the joy of accomplishment erased the pain. I will say that when I took a wrong turn on the course, I was not very kind to myself, but quitting was never an option. In fact, in each of the ultramarathons I have done, I let Tanya know that the only way I would be quitting is if there was a bone sticking out of my leg. If I broke a bone, grab some tree branches to make a splint and see how it goes.

The 10 Commandments of Endurance above also apply to life. Starting a new job can encounter all of these thoughts. There will learning curves, negative people with hidden agendas, and a little suffering. It is important to remember that there is an end to the day where you get to go home to where it matters most. To get there, you set intermediate goals. Even if that means lunch time! Set the small goals that it takes to get through the journey. If that gets too unbearable, look around and notice the good things around you. Point out 2-3 positives in the new job. Maybe it’s that you get to sit outside for lunch, made a new friend, or learned something new that day. Don’t dwell on the negative or it will overcome you.

This book has come at a great time for me with being just over a week away from the Leadville 100 Mile Trail Run. It has put into words what I have been looking for and knowing that others have already gone through it. Logically, I feel really good about this race and am looking forward to the adventure. These 10 laws really put it into perspective of how I am prepared mentally. It will be a great game of coming up with solutions with the resources I have as the situations arise.

I was doing the math and less then 20,000 people have registered for this race. That’s about how many people were in my most recent marathon. I feel honored to be even heading to the starting line and look forward to joining the even smaller group that has accomplished this adventure.

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