Four years ago I had a dream, an aspiration. I was a fat bum at the time, workaholic, borderline alcoholic, clubaholic and couchaholic. I somewhere read about people that actually run longer (!) than a marathon distance, go figure. They called it “ultra” marathon.
The complete nutters among these people would do something I had only ever come across from watching tennis on TV: do a “grand slam” consisting of four hundred mountain milers within the span of ten weeks. Total bonkers. But hey, it sounded kinda cool and to a man drawn to extremes it had a certain appeal. Age 39 at the time, deliberating “what’s next”, buying a Porsche would have been cool also, but would have been way too easy. Then my annual medical came back: grossly obese, 208 cholesterol, 150 LDL. The price of living the good life.
Hearing about Rich Roll‘s own transformation when turning 40, I decided not to buy a car but focus on health and well-being. I quit alcohol cold turkey, did a few detoxes, changed my nutrition to mostly plant-based and dropped 65lbs in six months. Then I needed a new outlet for my renewed youth – let’s give this ultra-running a try. So in early 2010, I decided to go big and do the grand slam “one day”. In the meantime I kept myself entertained with ultras in Asia-Pacific mostly. Three years and three Western States lotteries later and I was in and quickly signed up for the other three US based 100 milers. So 2013 became “one day”.
Last weekend I realised my dream. I finished the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning, a series dating back to 1986 which only 254 people, including the fat bum, have ever accomplished (with a few doing it several times). Nothing to take away from climbing Everest, but that’s been done by close to 8,000 people and is a pretty big achievement, right?
Dream big my friends. What can be imagined can be achieved.