You Can Accomplish More Than You Think

Holy smoke! I thought I had big goals. Then I read a new article on the Wired Web site about a long-distance runner named Dean Karnazes. It’s called “The Perfect Human.” It’s definitely worth reading.

dean-karnazes.jpg Here are some of the highlights:

  • He ran a marathon a day in a different state for 50 consecutive days. He ran in all 50 states.
  • He once ran 350 miles in three days—with no sleep.
  • He’s run the Badwater Ultramarathon seven times. It starts in Death Valley, 250 feet below sea level and concludes, 135 miles later, halfway up Mt. Whitney, at 8,360 feet. He won the race in 2004 on his fifth attempt.
  • He runs 100 to 170 miles a week.
  • He couldn’t find time to run 4–6 hours a day, so he began sleeping less. He currently only sleeps four hours a night.
  • His resting heart rate is 39 beats per minute!

My favorite quote from him is this one:

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention to arrive safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: Wow!! What a ride!

Amazingly, Dean just turned 44. Maybe I need to revisit my goals and do a little stretching! You can also read more about him on his official Web site.

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  • http://www.cameronconant.blogspot.com cameron conant

    This guy is an incredible runner. I’ve read about him before (I believe he’s been on the cover of Runners World at least twice), but I think he failed in his attempt to run 50 marathons in 50 days. However, I can’t really give him too hard of a time for that because I think he ran from like Boston to Montreal once without stopping, and that’s just silly. And amazing.

  • http://goodwordediting.com Mark Goodyear

    Great story. Here’s the thing I always notice about people like Dean Karnazes. He has a laser focus on what he wants to do. He is all running. All the time. Literally.

    What would my life look like if I had that kind of focus?

    I’m with you on revisiting my goals. Dream bigger, someone told me recently. But it’s scary to make big goals–because then I either have to work really hard (and make sacrifices) or fail.

    How can I make bigger goals without sacrificing some things (like my family!) that are also important? I have trouble believing I can just stop sleeping.

    But then maybe lack of belief is my trouble.

  • http://www.cameronconant.blogspot.com/ cameron conant

    This guy is an incredible runner. I've read about him before (I believe he's been on the cover of Runners World at least twice), but I think he failed in his attempt to run 50 marathons in 50 days. However, I can't really give him too hard of a time for that because I think he ran from like Boston to Montreal once without stopping, and that's just silly. And amazing.

  • http://goodwordediting.com/ Mark Goodyear

    Great story. Here's the thing I always notice about people like Dean Karnazes. He has a laser focus on what he wants to do. He is all running. All the time. Literally.

    What would my life look like if I had that kind of focus?

    I'm with you on revisiting my goals. Dream bigger, someone told me recently. But it's scary to make big goals–because then I either have to work really hard (and make sacrifices) or fail.

    How can I make bigger goals without sacrificing some things (like my family!) that are also important? I have trouble believing I can just stop sleeping.

    But then maybe lack of belief is my trouble.

  • http://www.everysquareinch.blogspot.com andre

    Don’t envy him – Dean Karnazes is a sick man. :-)

    Seriously, it looks impressive but what’s potrayed is just one perspective on life. While I’m all for pursuing and achieving goals, living life involves an exchange of time, energy and resources for specific achievements and goals.

    Perhaps what is most important is making sure you have the right goals and understanding what you’re willing to exchange in your attempt to achieve them.

  • http://www.everysquareinch.blogspot.com/ andre

    Don't envy him – Dean Karnazes is a sick man. :-)

    Seriously, it looks impressive but what's potrayed is just one perspective on life. While I'm all for pursuing and achieving goals, living life involves an exchange of time, energy and resources for specific achievements and goals.

    Perhaps what is most important is making sure you have the right goals and understanding what you're willing to exchange in your attempt to achieve them.

  • http://familyfriendlylife.blogspot.com Greg Burnett

    I read Dean’s book and it motivated me to find a passion (or at least think about it). Like some of the ealier commentors, I question whether Dean’s passion is right for everyone. I have a family and a good job. It feels like I’d have to short-change these things to dive into a passion.

    Although I’m leaning toward thinking that Dean’s level of passion would be great for everyone. To do less would be to cheat yourself. Then my normal self speaks up and just doesn’t want to give up the life I’ve got to go after something I may not reach. Dilemma!

    It seems difficut to find out if Dean’s way of life is right or not. I like to test the waters to make sure they are to my liking before getting in — slowly. With passion, it seems you need to jump into it with both feet. No test run allowed. No safety net. If you don’t, you are not really experiencing passion.

    Sounds exciting! (but scary)

  • http://familyfriendlylife.blogspot.com/ Greg Burnett

    I read Dean's book and it motivated me to find a passion (or at least think about it). Like some of the ealier commentors, I question whether Dean's passion is right for everyone. I have a family and a good job. It feels like I'd have to short-change these things to dive into a passion.

    Although I'm leaning toward thinking that Dean's level of passion would be great for everyone. To do less would be to cheat yourself. Then my normal self speaks up and just doesn't want to give up the life I've got to go after something I may not reach. Dilemma!

    It seems difficut to find out if Dean's way of life is right or not. I like to test the waters to make sure they are to my liking before getting in — slowly. With passion, it seems you need to jump into it with both feet. No test run allowed. No safety net. If you don't, you are not really experiencing passion.

    Sounds exciting! (but scary)

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

    Greg,

    Personally, I love Dean’s passion. I don’t intend to be an ultramarathoner. But his passion motivates me to be more committed to my calling.

    Thanks,

    Mike

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

    Greg,

    Personally, I love Dean’s passion. I don’t intend to be an ultramarathoner. But his passion motivates me to be more committed to my calling.

    Thanks,

    Mike

  • http://www.forward-living.com W. Mark Thompson

    A friend of mine and I talk about this often. We’re running/training for our first half marathon. Just ran our first 6+ miles day. About killed us. To think of running 350 miles in 3 days is mind-boggling!

    Still pressing ahead to make my body do seemingly more than I could imagine… for now. Knees are telling me that I’m thinking I’m on track with my original assessment.  :)

  • http://www.twitter.com/destanley Dustan E. Stanley

    I’ve always said that we are stronger than we think. I know it’s true is so many areas, but this makes me want to realize its truth physically. Started running just the other day. Thanks for the post!