Running has come to mean a lot of different things to me recently. The more and more I sit around trying to think about the content for this blog entry for Brokeman's Running, I keep coming back to one important point that is shaping my view about running. A no limits legacy.
I attended a seminar a few years back about helping people escape poverty, and the speaker said some things and asked some questions that really stood out to me. The speaker said to a room full of middle class people, "Why are you not wealthy? And even if you know the reasons, why have you not done anything about it? I have friends who were in middle class, and now they are millionaires. Why are you not wealthy?" It was an awkward question that left most of us scanning the room looking at one another. He then proceeded to say "That is the same thing you have mentally asked yourself about people who are in poverty." You say things like, "Why don't they help themselves? Why don't they just get a job? Just stop buying rims for your car and get a retirement fund. Strap up your boots and get to work like I do and my father did before me."
This seminar went on to teach perspective changing material for the rest of the day. My head was spinning. But as a lower-middle class attendee, something tickled my brain that I had never considered. The jump to becoming wealthy. I had always been told that anyone could make the jump from being in poverty to being in middle class by working hard and saving money. (There is more to it, but that was the mentality). So, what is the secret to make the next jump?
Just like running, the secret isn't hard work, it's all mental. Hard work is certainly a part of it, but it isn't the secret. The difference between middle class and the wealthy class is the same difference between planning for retirement and planning to leave behind a legacy. The difference between Half Marathon Runners and Ultra Marathon Runners is just where the finish line is. That's it. It's all mental. It's all perspective and what you choose to focus on. Of course it takes hard work to run a Half Marathon, just as it takes hard work to save for retirement. Of course it takes hard work to become wealthy, just as it takes hard work to run an Ultra. Hard work isn't the secret though. The secret is your perspective on the future.
It has taken a long time for me to align my mentality in this direction and to accept that the only limit on me making the jump from 26 half marathons to my first Marathon is just mental. It's not like I cant do the training, or I don't get enough food (I eat plenty, believe me), or any other excuse. Just like there is no reason why I don't think about what kind of legacy I will leave behind for my children and grandchildren to follow. All we have to do is change how we see things.
Instead of "What do I need to do so I can not work for the last 20 years of my life?"
Think "What do I need to do to set my children's destinies in motion?"
Instead of "How can I train to finish my next race?"
Think "How can I train to see how far my body can take me?"
In socio-economic standards as well as running standards the difference of a no limits legacy is where you put the finish line, or better yet, if there even is one. Do you put the finish line at retiring? Or do you want to watch your children be more than you ever could? Is the finish line at the end of a 5K? 10K? Half? Full? Ultra? 100 MILER?!?!
You know where your finish line has been in the past.
Where will it be in the future?
Or will you even have one?
I'm Allen Conner a Brokemans Ambassador from Dayton OH. Growing up I was never active but in college I fell in love with rock climbing, which lead me to running because I needed to lose weight to get better. Along the journey I fell in love with running.
My first day of training I ran a quarter of a mile. Now I am almost finished with my goal of running 30 half marathons before turning 30. Only 4 left, and I will be done in Sept! I also compete in Obstacle Course Racing and have done Tough Murders, Spartan races and competed in the Obstacle Course Racing World Championships last year and am looking forward to attending again in Oct. I'm looking forward to switching gears towards trail running and breaking into some longer distances soon. Feel free to follow my personal blog at