Ready to roll...
Ever sit down to read a book, and when you finish it, you realize you're a completely different person?
A couple years back I stumbled upon the magic that is Rich Roll. I can't remember if I found his podcast or social media first, but ultimately it led me to his book, Finding Ultra. It was New Years Eve, I was working, but had quite a bit of downtime so I picked up the copy I had recently ordered and cracked it open.
Side note...my dad always told me the quickest way to NOT read a book is to buy it...
I am trying to beat that notion one book at a time!
A solid chapter in and I was hooked, like 'couldn't put it down to pee' hooked. I flew through the first half of the book and begrudgingly put it down when the sun set and my kids demanded dinner. I felt like I was buzzing with this new information, his story, and all the background that he provided in this book. I climbed up the stairs from my basement office and just regurgitated what I had read to my husband, who stood there, dish towel in hand, staring at me like I was crazy. He hadn't seen me in eight hours and here I am ranting about endurance running and green smoothies.
Breaking News: I have read a book!
I won't take from you the experience of reading this book by spelling out each chapter, but what I will say is this: it's a masterpiece of stories, knowledge, and inspiration. The other funny thing is after I read Finding Ultra, I didn't immediately start running or exercising.
It was like all these little seeds had been planted in my brain and I had to let them sprout before I knew what I wanted to do.
Some of those planted seeds connected with things I was already doing: eating healthy, staying active, raising my kids in a healthy home, etc. I think a lot of what I took from this book was applying his perseverance and drive to all things, not just physical feats. I look at making dinner and encouraging my kids to eat healthy as something that deserves just as much time as training for an event or preparing for a work presentation. We have to put the time into our health so we can turn around and enjoy the benefits of that health. Here are a few examples of some super healthy and yummy foods to help fuel you and your family.
A couple months later I was surfing the internet and looking up local events when I came across the Baltimore Running Festival. They sponsor a marathon, half-marathon, 5k, and more. I don't know what came over me but I just clicked the link, registered, waited for the confirmation email and again, made my way upstairs and told my husband I had just signed up for my first half-marathon.
Is it even race day without the port-a-potties?
After the running festival I looked for more races to sign up for and just kept on running. It always felt good to have another one in the queue. Since the running festival and dozens of other races, I have become more of an avid runner than I never knew possible. Thinking back, I ran track & field and cross country in junior high and high school and I always loved being outside hitting the pavement or trails, so it feels fitting to fall back into running. For me, it has become a time to reflect, work out internal arguments, ponder over a recent documentary or book, or just let my mind go and run along to the latest downloaded album. When I am planning a little bit longer run, no surprise, I pop on the Rich Roll Podcast to keep me company. A few favorites are episode 495 (Ricky Gates), 449 (Gemma Newton), 353 & 414 (Zach Bush), and 266 (David Goggins). Honestly, every episode is amazing, so just go ahead and subscribe now!
A good friend of mine made this fantastic sign for me and I keep it displayed in my office.
Besides being an all around amazing athlete and human, Rich Roll is also plant-based and for sure raising awareness about fueling our bodies with the best of the best while pushing yourself to new limits -- it is the ultimate advocacy for human, planet, and animal health. Pick up your copy of Finding Ultra and let us know what you think!
Oh and... as I continue to surprise my husband with my wild plans... you can follow along as I prepare for my first ultra-marathon this Labor Day (that's funny, right?)... 50K (31 miles) here I come!