*Let the mind train the body and then see the magnificent things that your body does*
Time magazine had named Dean Karnazes as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential People in the World.” He is supposedly one of the fittest men on the planet.
Dean started running in August 1992 at the age of 30 after a late night party left him sloshed. He came home, found a pair of sneakers and ran a straight 30 miles. In the process, he had a blinding realization: There were untapped reservoirs within him. It was like a religious conversion. He had been born again as a long-distance runner. More than anything else now, he wanted to find out how far he could go.
Over the next 14 years, Karnazes challenged almost every known endurance running limit. He covered 350 miles without sleeping. (It took more than three days.) He ran the first and only marathon to the South Pole (finishing second), and then at age 44, he completed 50 marathons in 50 consecutive days, one in each of the 50 states. The last one was in New York City. After that, he decided to run home to San Francisco. On ten different occasions, he’s run a 200-mile relay race solo, racing alongside teams of twelve. As his website would tell you, Dean has pushed his body and mind to inconceivable limits.
Karnazes’ transformation from a tequila-sodden party animal into an international symbol of human achievement is as educational as it is inspirational.
“The human body has limitations,” Karnazes says. “The human spirit is boundless.”
Your mind, in other words, is your most important muscle. If you’re going to explore the boundaries of human endurance, you’ll have to learn to adapt to more and more pain.
“People think I’m crazy to put myself through such torture, though I would argue otherwise. Somewhere along the line, we seem to have confused comfort with happiness. Dostoyevsky had it right: ‘Suffering is the sole origin of consciousness.’ Never are my senses more engaged than when the pain sets in. There is a magic in misery. Just ask any runner.”
To prepare for the searing heat of the Badwater race, Karnazes went on 30-mile jogs wearing a ski parka over a wool sweater. He trained himself to urinate while running. He got so he could go out and run a marathon on any given day – no mileage build-up or tapering required. This training made the extreme seem ordinary and made the impossible seem the next logical step. Eventually, when he grew accustomed to the pain, it stopped hurting. “There is magic in misery and the human body,” he says, “is capable of extraordinary feats.”
The human body is capable of amazing physical deeds. If we could just free ourselves from our perceived limitations and tap into our internal fire, the possibilities are endless.
This too shall pass, train your mind and your body will follow beyond imaginable limits to achieve the impossible.
Stay blessed forever.