Share this with your badass friends:

Ask Yourself One Question

Written By George Callahan

Jan 20, 2020

Most people, even many hardened by the pursuit of the experience and sensation that is ultra marathon running, lack fulfillment.

What is fulfillment, anyway?

I’ll let you answer that yourself; most people have a decent idea of what their lives fulfilled might look like.

[If you’re eager to hear my take on the word ‘fulfillment,’ I’ve got a fictitious book about a magical mountain lion 🦁 coming out in 2020: click here to read the first couple pages…]

Close your eyes and imagine your life, fulfilled.

I’m going to guess you’re not quite there, yet.

You might have a plan, an ideal, or a path. Your values and beliefs frame a mission for your life, for a fulfilled life.

There need to be some changes, sure: your job (or just your boss), location (“If only I was in the mountains”), or acquaintances (“I need new friends…”). We all have some environmental factor restricting our growth, some segment of our life or a habit keeping us in the same place.

Right?

Wrong.

Way wrong.

I battled the notion for some time that my environment dictated what I could do and who I could become; it was a lie of culture, a culture fixated on flashy social media profiles and influencer hype. If I didn’t adhere to some brand of success or achievement, my personal mission was at stake.

I was wrong.

My fulfillment, my mission, never depended on anything but my own action.

One question loomed, unanswered, over my head. Through every pair of running shoes I wore out, through every lunge and squat and plank, through every victory and regression and imitation of some brand of success or achievement, I never asked myself:

What if I was better than I am?

The person you closed your eyes and imagined, the fulfilled life you saw, lives on the other side of that question.

It’s a question that has to be answered daily—even every second!—if your desire for ‘fulfillment’ is sincere, if you decide to commit yourself to a higher mission or a victory you can only imagine.

We fall into daydreams and wishes, as if men and women are meant to always be imagining some better place for their lives in some distant future that is only attainable through a massive storm of environmental change. We never stop and wonder if where we are right now is where we’re meant to be, and despite every limitation imposed by the company we keep, our career, finances, and lack of opportunity, if this place is where we are meant to take root and explode in personal growth.

Maybe where we are right now is our greatest asset; to change it, to play into those daydreams of if only, would be to thwart the path we’re on toward mission success.

It’s a dangerous pattern of wishing and searching, beginning and striving, and falling back into despair of circumstance.

Break the cycle: commit the air in your lungs and the blood in your veins to that mission, that peak of accomplishment, without regard for your state of life.

It starts with one question: What if I was better than I am?

Find your Wicked Trail…

[If you’re eager to hear my take on the word ‘fulfillment,’ I’ve got a fictitious book about a magical mountain lion 🦁 coming out in 2020: click here to read the first couple pages…]

 

FREE Comfort Is A Lie Sticker!

No Credit Card Required!!

Ultra Marathon Blog | Free Sticker
Your Info
Address


Stranded on a Desert Island

Stranded on a Desert Island

Written By George CallahanIt's a silly, simple question. No, it's more than that. It's a question that has tugged at my mind, manipulated my intentions, and directed my actions for a long time. I'm not here to crowd-please or coddle the spaces of others, but the...

Comfort Is A Lie

Comfort Is A Lie

Written By George CallahanThe man looks around at his life. Not much to worry about. Not a lot of sweat. No real adversity. "Perfect," he thinks. "I'm comfortable." Isn't life supposed to be this way? Free of pain. Free from worry. Free from adversity. This must be...

3 Lessons of a 100 Mile DNF

3 Lessons of a 100 Mile DNF

Written By George CallahanI was 8 minutes shy of the 30-hour cut off. It was not how I imagined finishing my first 100 mile ultra marathon. I pictured gritting my teeth, conquering, and smiling across the finish line of that point-to-point race from Cleveland to...

The Pain Cave: You’re On Stage

The Pain Cave: You’re On Stage

Written By George CallahanYou've been there, or heard other runners talk about it. Eighty miles in, chopping away at the distance, trudging uphill and falling downhill toward a distant finish line. Feet aching, knees swollen, hamstrings twitching into a cramp. The...

Bleed For It

Bleed For It

Written By George Callahan It’s easy to sit on the sidelines and watch it all go by. I’ve done it. You’ve done it. People around you and I do it every single day. There it goes, right now, while you read this. What is it? What is all this going by? Opportunity. Not...

White Knuckles

White Knuckles

Written By George CallahanThe blue sky turned grey, the concrete turned to ice, and our wandering eyes, exploring the Virginia mountainsides, turned to the road. The snow fell in clumps and the temperature dropped; the higher our four wheels drove, the whiter my...

The Timing of Chaos

The Timing of Chaos

Written By George CallahanHumans instinctually amass resources. It’s hammered into our ancient DNA to acquire and protect. It’s hunger and thirst, wealth and ease; it’s each of these with a propensity to the stimulation of our mind’s reward—pleasure—centers. We’re...

Torture Your Faults

Torture Your Faults

Written By George CallahanMornings are hard. Cold weather is hard. Late nights are hard. Saying no to fun is hard. Nobody asked you to Be Your Own Culture, to chase something intangible and pursue an imagined ideal. You don't have to do whatever hard thing you're...

Don’t Uber Through Life: An Ultrarunner’s Reflection

Don’t Uber Through Life: An Ultrarunner’s Reflection

Written By George CallahanAt mile 70, I said I'm done. I didn't want to go on. The race hadn't gone the way I wanted, and my torched hip was bleeding doubts into my mind. My crew didn't argue, there was no thinking; it was "I'm done" and we were walking away from the...

My Dirty Hat

My Dirty Hat

Written By George Callahan“I thought about buying a new hat, a fresh and clean one, but it wouldn’t be the same. It’s my hat. It knows my struggles on the trail and my successes. I’ve trained and raced with it. It’s tasted sweat and dirt and lots of stream water on...

Motivation Is Not Real: Run Without It

Motivation Is Not Real: Run Without It

Written By George CallahanTo an outsider, the ultra marathon community appears to lean on motivation. To the outside world, motivation drives an ultra marathon runner to explore possibility, their own iron wills, and the limits of their bodies. Ultra marathon...

So Long, And Thanks For The Suffering

So Long, And Thanks For The Suffering

Written By Michael MoranI chose to do this. Nobody forced me to run 50 miles. Pouring sweat into a paper cup of Gatorade three quarters of the way through the race, I felt like I was about to cave inward. The weight of the last few months, the heat, my wet and muddy...

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

FREE Comfort Is A Lie Sticker!

No Credit Card Required!!

Your Info
Address


Stranded on a Desert Island

Stranded on a Desert Island

Written By George CallahanIt's a silly, simple question. No, it's more than that. It's a question that has tugged at my mind, manipulated my intentions, and directed my actions for a long time. I'm not here to crowd-please or coddle the spaces of others, but the...

Comfort Is A Lie

Comfort Is A Lie

Written By George CallahanThe man looks around at his life. Not much to worry about. Not a lot of sweat. No real adversity. "Perfect," he thinks. "I'm comfortable." Isn't life supposed to be this way? Free of pain. Free from worry. Free from adversity. This must be...

3 Lessons of a 100 Mile DNF

3 Lessons of a 100 Mile DNF

Written By George CallahanI was 8 minutes shy of the 30-hour cut off. It was not how I imagined finishing my first 100 mile ultra marathon. I pictured gritting my teeth, conquering, and smiling across the finish line of that point-to-point race from Cleveland to...

The Pain Cave: You’re On Stage

The Pain Cave: You’re On Stage

The pain cave is a place in your mind, but it’s also where people watching you in the ultra marathon draw their greatest strength.

Bleed For It

Bleed For It

Written By George Callahan It’s easy to sit on the sidelines and watch it all go by. I’ve done it. You’ve done it. People around you and I do it every single day. There it goes, right now, while you read this. What is it? What is all this going by? Opportunity. Not...

White Knuckles

White Knuckles

Written By George CallahanThe blue sky turned grey, the concrete turned to ice, and our wandering eyes, exploring the Virginia mountainsides, turned to the road. The snow fell in clumps and the temperature dropped; the higher our four wheels drove, the whiter my...