Episode 6: Fifty + hours, 4 states, 2 races, and 1 Taco Bell stop.

This past weekend I knocked off 2 more states in my quest to complete my 50by50. The journey was long. 10 Hour Travel Days each way. The races were amazing. Great people. Great venues. Great competition. I did well. Really well.

In Alabama at the “Do it in the Bush 5K Trail Race” (yeah that was the actual name of the race), I placed 1st in my Division, 3rd in Masters (I am still not sure what that means), and 24th overall. The trails were beautiful, and brutal. Huge Pine Trees jammed in closely to one another. Several “widow maker” climbs (my Boyz in the RC will know what I’m talking about). And the most humidity I have ever raced in (all 4 races – lol). I mean it was like running in a Steam Room. It sucked. Oh, and I had to be at the race by 6:30am (I am not a strong early morning runner – which is problematic seeing that about 80% of all races start between 6-8 am). Even with all the odds stacked against me, I had a great race and left it all out on the trail.

Mississippi was the Polar Opposite. It was a night race. In fact much later into the night then I had planned. I thought the race started at 7:30pm, when in fact it started at 9:30pm. It was also a road race which is what I typically train for. I arrived, oh, 12 hours early with no where to land. So I parked my truck, made a PB&J, ate a couple of bananas and did something very out of character for me (at least out of character for me over the past several years), I walked into town and just started talking to anyone and everyone that would engage. There were many interesting people in Picayune, MS (still not sure how its actually pronounced). I met the barista at the only open (in walking distance) cafe/coffee shop in town. I met the organizer of the Light Up the Night 5k Race event. She was so kind – even plugged my Blog at the awards ceremony later that evening. I met a couple of kind and very mature High School Runners (both of which beat me in the looming race and both I found out later that evening were State and Runner Up Cross Country Champs). I met one of the characters of PJ Masks? Dunno who that is or what that is, but apparently my 7 year old daughter and good friend (JT) did and were both very excited (or at least I think JT was). Basically I just went out and met people. Connected in genuine ways. And you know what I discovered…

I still really DON’T LIKE PEOPLE!

Ok, that is total bullshit. But for shock value, it was awesome. Actually what I discovered was the WHY this 50by50MOVEment Project is so important to me. Or should I say validated. I got to see 2 incredible states. Run races with real and interesting people. Made a couple of friends along the way. And mostly, experienced true human connection.

At the end of the day, that is what its about. Hearing peoples stories. Learning new cultures – and yes even within our USA – there are unique cultures. You don’t have to travel to Bali or India or Beijing to experience culture. We have it here in our own country. I asked several people “how many of these great states have you be privileged to visit and experience” and the answer shocked me. Well, actually it saddened me. Most people hadn’t even left their own state. And if they did, it wasn’t much further then a neighboring state, or a family trip. Look we live in one of the most geographically diverse places on this planet. We have the frozen tundra of the Dakotas, the deep heat of the South, the incredible mountain ranges of the Rockies, the Pacific Northwest, the Florida Keys (which might as well be called the US Caribbean), and California…which in its own right could easily be its own country. Ski in the morning, and surf before dinner – on the SAME DAY!

I mean seriously. We live in one of the greatest places on this planet and my hope for this journey is that it can inspire you (my loyal 27 followers – found out a few more of y’all have been tuning in – and thank you for that) to get out there and see it…all of it. And while your out there, put on a pair of running shoes, hiking boots, or grab a paddle board and just soak in it while your there. If you give it a chance, you will be amazed at just how lucky we are.

BTW – In Mississippi I finished 1st in my Division, 2nd in Masters (I think, still need to ask Coach Blue what that actually means), 5th overall, and beat my previous PR by almost a full minute. And I got to eat Taco Bell in another 50by50 movement – its really more of a bowel movement, but that is for another time. LOL

SideBar: Amazingly there were no sidebars today, well except for this one. I think its because I am so exhausted that my mind can only focus on the content of this weeks Blog, or because I am so exhausted that my mind can only focus…what was I saying 🙂

#Run #TrainHard #NeverQuit #Connect #LifeIsGood #5k #BecauseICan #AreWeThereYet #Gratitute #FoundMyPlaceInLife #50by50MOVEment @runningwithforest. Join the 50by50MOVEment at www.RunningWithForest.com and check out www.CuroCoaching.com. Hopefully we will see you at one of our future events or races soon. Also – please comment and let me know…well anything. Just let me know someone is reading this and getting a little smile, or annoyed, either one. Just let me know it’s not going into the Blackhole of the Internet. Thanks!

JJ is Out!

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