This past week on the Connect Run Club Podcast we had the opportunity to interview the filmmakers of the Barkley Marathons Movie. If you would like, you can enjoy the episode right here https://blab.im/connectrunclub-telling-the-story-of-the-barkley-marathons
For those of you not familiar with this race you should check it out. I have known about this race for years and it is exciting to see the story being told. When I say it is the toughest running event out there I mean by far it is the toughest event out there.
One thing that intrigued me about our conversation was when our time together shifted toward the mental part of the race and what is learned. How many times have you read a quote about what we learn from failure? How many things have you read and heard talked about that we learn from our failures and not our successes? Honestly, if you are like me those sound better on paper than they do in real life. It gave me some time for reflection about some of my races. Especially the ultramarathon distance.
One of the reasons I have always enjoyed these distances is because it is the type of race I have always seemed to learn more about myself than any other race. (In short…it is the distance where I have failed more times and been humbled time and time again) So why race it?
It takes me back to the idea of “where do we learn best?” Failure or success?
How do we respond to failure and how do we respond to success? In what areas of our life do we choose to practice this?
One thing I love about running is everything I learn in training is easily applied to everything that I do. Including and especially failing. Don’t get me wrong here, I don’t get searching for the ability to fall on my face. I don’t get excited about a DNF. However, one reason I like to attempt the ultra is because it opens it up as a possibility. More than anything else I do, an ultra gives me that opportunity.
What other safe place do we have in life to experiment with risk and learning so much about how to risk?
The other thing I enjoyed that we talked about is “What is your Barkley?” What is that thing for you that is so intimidating and so big you have a hard time grasping what to do next?
The question I would ask today, are you risking enough? Are you daring to fail?