It was a cold and rainy day, but it wasn’t going to stop us! Back in February I joined Steve Good for his first of 8 runs in 8 different cities over 8 days. You can read more about this adventure in the archives of his blog, A Good Run. Not only was it something I was excited to be a part of, but it was inspiring to hear about the journey Steve had planned in celebration of turning 30! Since it only happens once, he had something grand in mind. Reading about his journey after he left Des Moines was enjoyable as we were able to see what was happening in his travels from Des Moines to DC via MegaBus, with stops in Chicago, Indy, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, NYC and Baltimore. Not only did I get “A Good Run” in, I also was able to hear about Steve’s new non-profit, Grass Root Give and we talked about how fortunate we are to be able to work in an area we have passion and are able to be challenged to grow and have an impact on the lives of others!
This photo was from that day back in February, a celebratory meal in which we each dominated a sandwich as Steve prepared to head out to Chicago! So what would come of this experience? Well Steve had many stories and great experiences to tell, from the great conversations with strangers on the bus to the great hospitality from many friends. It all led to a moment of inspiration for me. I was driving to the home of one of my fellow staff members from Hope Ankeny, Jared Wells, for dinner and I was on the north side of Ankeny which reminded me of the Bike Route for the Big Creek Triathlon I had competed in during 2008. As I was thinking about this, I was reminded of what Steve had done to celebrate his 30th, well since mine had already passed I immediately started to think about my next big one, the Big 4-0!
I was inspired to think of something that would be challenging and fun. I had done a variety of races in previous years and found them to be enjoyable, from the Dam to Dam
, to the Longhorn 70.3
(now called the Ironman 70.3 – Austin), to the Mud Run
and even the Snake Alley Criterium
. Some of these races had definitely been more challenging than others from a training standpoint and actual race day performance standpoint, but one thing that was always true is that I found myself excited for the opportunities presented to push myself, but to also see others making use of their God given abilities to do the same.
However, in the past couple of years, doing races hadn’t been much of a priority, as I had been focused on discerning what God had created me to do from a vocation perspective. In this time I was able to step into what God had laid on my heart and I find myself in a place where I am ready to get back into races in a way that will keep me fit and energized. So as I was pondering what I could do in this short drive, I was inspired to do “40 races to 40”. As I pondered this idea, I originally thought could I do 40 races in my final year, not so much, but when broken out over the next 10 years it became a reasonable goal. The thought is that I could do 4 races each year, with no restrictions on length or activity. This means I can do Fun Runs like one I came across, The Color Run
, to Criterium Races(short fast bike races), to triathlons, to endurance runs. So I set out with a new goal and focus as it relates to approaching 40 and it was time to start planning my races for 2012.
Today I embark on the first of 40 races. At 9am I will start a race called Gladiator Assault
, which will be held in Boone, IA. This is the first race of its kind that I have competed in. It is a race that falls into the category of somewhat crazy, and a type of race that I had been looking forward to doing since some college buddies of mine did the Warrior Dash at Copper Mt.
a couple years back. I am pretty excited for the challenge today! As I set out to do 40 races over the next 10, I have thought about a couple of parameters that I will put in place. First, I will compete in 40 different races, none being the same. If for whatever reason I decide to complete a race that is already on the list of 40, I will just call it a bonus race for the list and it may mean that I race in more than 40. I also have decided that I would like to have someone that I can race with at each of these, in hopes of racing with a variety of friends over the years to come! It is always more enjoyable to show up at a race and have someone you know at the starting line with you and then enjoy the post race celebration in the same light. I happened across today’s race because of a friend I had met in the past couple years that I reconnected with as he had posted the opportunity to purchase his extra Groupon voucher for the race. Thank you TJ Anderson
! As I am writing this morning I was also inspired that 1 race each year will be an opportunity to raise money for a cause that I support and believe in, something I have done in the past and would like to take more seriously.
When it all comes down to it, I look at this challenge as an opportunity to make use of the way God has wired me. That is what we are called to do, be good stewards of the gifts we have been given. I always look forward to races and for me it is all about the journey, most importantly Putting God First! I thank God for the health and capacity He has gifted me with to race today. I thank God for the desire He has placed on my heart to race with others and to be an encouragement to others! It all started with the inspiration from a friend, Steve Good, that had a ripple effect into my life and has inspired me to set out to accomplish this feat. Just as Steve had inspired me through his journey, I hope to inspire others to ask what challenges or opportunities lie ahead for them in their own journey. It is my hope the ripples continue into the lives of others. That we can inspire others in a way that may transform their lives, ultimately recognizing that it is living a life that we were created to live, all inspired by the Creator!