Do Hard Things Because They Are Hard

One of them was a man who d been doing an exhausting workout program for the previous 75 days. Lots of days were tough, however by sticking to the strategy, he had actually currently lost 40 pounds. He stated that when he thought about stopping, he believed about what James was doing every day.Another guy had ran a half-marathon once, but that was a years ago and he hadnt done much running because.

Its difficult to measure, however whatever is it, it needs to be much, much greater than whatever quantity of money he raises. The charity work is fine. But doing tough things just for the sake of doing them might be even better.

Not surprisingly, James is raising money for a charity. In this case, its an organization that works to end human trafficking. Far hes raised well over $100,000 and will probably end up with a significantly higher number before its over.

Those individuals– the ones who were motivated to attempt something they d never ever done previously– were the ones I was interested in.

Why, then, does a person like the “Iron Cowboy” feel the requirement to package a heroic accomplishment through charitable fundraising? Once again, its not his fault– its since thats what everybody anticipates. Its uncommon to say, “Im doing this thing since its really difficult and I wish to challenge myself.”.

For his new mission, hes attempting 100 “full-distance triathlons” in 100 days, all from his home in Utah. (He cant call them Ironman-distance due to the fact that the Ironman brand is, will we state, a little touchy about such things.).

Thats why I think the real inspiration for a mission like 100 Ironman-distance triathlons in 100 days is much simpler. When I composed The Happiness of Pursuit (a book all about finding purpose and significance through a mission) I discovered that nearly everybody who undertakes a strong experience has difficulty explaining why theyre doing it.

Speaking of The Happiness of Pursuit, among the stories I liked finest in the book had to do with Nate Damm, a young guy from Maine who strolled across America. Unlike a number of my other case research studies, Nate had no pretense about any secondary inspirations. “Im doing this for myself,” he said.

Dont get me incorrect– Im not saying that James is being deceptive in any way. Its excellent that hes able to align his efforts with a cause. I simply mean that this motivation, nevertheless noble, is secondary. And not just is it a secondary inspiration, however the advantages of a task like this (for both James and lots of other individuals) go far beyond fundraising.

I got up at 4:30 am and traveled to Utah simply for the sake of being part of the event that day. I didnt talk with James much throughout the run– I figured that every day he has people troubling him, and for me the value remained in being a little part of a history-making accomplishment.

And of course, every day, tens of thousands are following online. Presuming that James has the ability to make it to day 100 (or, honestly, even if a severe injury forces him to stop at some point before then), countless varieties of people will be influenced and challenged. What do you believe the impact of that is?

But wait, why is he doing it? Heres where it gets interesting.

Despite the fact that I left James alone, I talked with a lot of the other individuals who appeared that day. It was Day 47, AKA the 47th day in a row that he d been out there, and 4 days later on he d break his own world record for the most successive full-distance triathlons.

If youve read this far, you may think Im criticizing James or belittling his objective in some method. Nope! Im a fan.


A 2.4 mile swim that starts at 5:30 amA 112 mile bike trip (approximately 7:30 am-2pm) A 26.2 mile run (starts around 3pm, typically ends between 9pm-10pm) Repeat every day for 100 days.

If it sounds like this is easier than handling the logistics of travel, that part is probably true, however consider whats involved:.

A few people in the group were ultrarunners, the majority of were at my level (not an ultrarunner, but otherwise comfortable with running a lot), and a minimum of four of them had never ever done a marathon before.

Did you catch that tail end? Theres no margin for error. If he gets behind in any event, the times stack up– and this has actually taken place more than when currently, where he finishes the run near midnight, then gets in the pool once again at 5:30 am. All day, no days off.

Recently I went to Utah to run an uncommon marathon. My time was well over 2 hours slower than any marathon Ive done, however that was by design– I was running with someone who was doing a series of severe events back-to-back, every day for 100 days in a row.

The pace, therefore, was slow.

His name is James Lawrence, more widely known as the Iron Cowboy. I d become aware of James a year or 2 ago after watching a documentary of his previous quest where he attempted (and completed, with a couple of small variations along the method) 50 Ironman-distance triathlons in 50 states in 50 days.

All day long, no days off.

Or at least, he could, and his mission would have no less value. And if you are believing about doing some Really Hard Thing, know that you do not need to justify or rationalize it somehow.

To the hero on his/her/their journey, its intuitive: they simply need to do it. Theres no turning back once they get it in their heads. If they dont make the effort, theyll regret it.

Tags: adventures, happiness of pursuit, quest, running, Travel.

Images: 1, 2.

For some, nevertheless, that answer feels insufficient. Society at big tends to be uneasy with ambitious individuals– so the hero on the journey feels like they have to add some sort of reason.

Whats Really Inspiring.

The interesting thing is that although Nate strolled throughout America “for himself,” without any other reason, he ended up developing all sort of favorable change as an outcome. (Clearly I was influenced! And many other individuals were, too.).

But is raising money the reason hes putting himself under such extreme pressure every day? As someone who studied these things and composed a book about it, Im quite sure thats not it.

These are just a few anecdotes from the group I kept up face to face on a single day of this herculean venture. Every day for 100 days, people from near and far are participating to be part of the occasions. Theyll all go away with the story of a shared experience: I was part of that. For some of them, it might simply be a great memory. For others, it could be life-changing.

The crowd for the day James broke his previous record. I existed four days earlier for Day # 47.

You can most likely inform Im amazed, and I dont even bike or swim (at least not well). All I do is run!

Is He Doing This to Raise Money for Something? Yes, But …

Heres whats truly inspiring about a mission like the Iron Cowboys. Its not the outcome– the cash raised, the miles ran (and swam and biked, in his case)– its the pursuit. This is beautiful, meaningful, and totally worthwhile by itself.

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Hero: “Im going to ride a unicycle to the moon, all without sleeping.” Person who lives a boring life: “That sounds crazy, why?” Hero: “Because Im raising money for kids with cancer.” Person who lives an uninteresting life: “Oh, that makes perfect sense. Lets get you on the Today show.”.

This is a key component of missions: they do not necessarily make sensible sense. Plenty of outsiders “do not get it.”.

On his previous quest, James also raised cash for charity. He wound up with an excellent amount of cash contributed– however someone as figured out as James might probably discover a method to fundraise even more without 14 hours of endurance exercise every day. So, like any excellent mission, its optimum or not efficient.

He ended up with a good amount of money contributed– however someone as determined as James might probably discover a method to fundraise even more without 14 hours of endurance exercise every day. These are just a couple of anecdotes from the group I ran with in individual on a single day of this herculean endeavor. Every day for 100 days, individuals from near and far are joining in to be part of the occasions. Presuming that James is able to make it to day 100 (or, truthfully, even if a major injury forces him to stop at some point prior to then), numerous numbers of individuals will be influenced and challenged.


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