Learning about yourself by voluntarily pushing new boundaries.
You wouldn't expect it, but during a video about a man who ate his weight in beans (more below), he contemplates two of life's important questions.
(1) How well do you know yourself?
(2) How can you challenge yourself to know yourself better?
To answer question 2: in June, I'll be competing in an ultra-race.
An introvert by nature, always striving to understand myself, and valuing a challenge, I love the possibilities these questions open regarding adventure. After all, I've been reflecting a lot recently.
Oftentimes, we think adventuring coincides with traveling. And it certainly does. Sometimes.
But what about adventure inward? Into an unfamiliar place, diving within ourselves to see how we respond outwardly?
That's what The Human Bean did. Here's a quick background.
He only ate beans, 191 cans, for 40 days. Life got hard eating only beans. Especially since he's a runner. I'll let you watch the video on your own at the link up above, but I wanted to pull this quote out:
"When I'm running well it feels like I'm part of a world-class symphony. Everything is in order, the conductor has their eyes closed, and the crowd never doubt what they're hearing. When the running is bad, it's as if part-time musicians got together, got drunk, and started playing an instrument they never played before."
By exploring ourselves through physical, emotional, or spiritual adventures, we can answer those two questions. For me, there's something daunting about a physical challenge. It's possible to find parts of yourself you didn't know existed or to learn that there are parts of yourself so deeply engrained that you can do nothing but embrace them.
I'm registered for the Midstate Mile this June. It's my first ultra race. It's in a different state. It's going to push me physically. It's going to push me mentally. It's my version of an answer to "How can you challenge yourself to know yourself better?" With any luck, the training and the event will help me answer Question 1 so I'll learn a little about myself too.
Physically, the race is a 1.1 mile loop. Every 20 minutes you get on the starting line until you can't finish within that 20 minutes.
Mostly though, the race will push my emotional state, doing the same lap over and over. No music allowed. Just mind over matter and small steps. I imagine I'll enter new places in my mind that require deep digging and positive self-talk. Chadd Wright, an absolute beast, won the event last year, he's pictured below about to embrace the second place finisher after they duked it out.
My goal is 24 laps, or 26.4 miles, a little over a marathon. There might be a break-down or two in there. But I'm excited to learn about myself, and open to pieces of advice!