Last weekend I was running at Creve Coeur Lake Park on the trail and a fast runner passed me going the opposite direction. It’s not often that I see a thin white guy built like a Kenyan race by on the trail. His high cadence speed impressed me and several miles later we crossed paths again. Only this time he was breathing heavier and as he exhaled he gasped “Ahh.” That one syllable moaned out let me know that he was way beyond laboring through this run. He had pushed himself to his limit and was staying there. It was a beautiful Saturday morning and I am positive nobody in the park was working harder than this man.

Do you know anyone who has a job where very little is required of them? You know someone who brags and says “At my job I don’t do sxxx?” And amazingly they’re proud of it? The sad thing about this type of life is that they are the ones missing out and they have no clue. They never earn their self esteem; they never push themselves enough to be rewarded with the pride of a job well done. There was no coach yelling at that runner on the trail, no pack of wild dogs chasing him, he pushed himself and at the end of the day he goes to bed content that he gave it all he had.

Those are two extreme examples, but most of the time we fall right in the middle. We do what is expected; live a sort of 80% life. I agree it’s hard to be 100% supercharged all day long, but, think about it, aren’t the most memorable, the most rewarding experiences, the ones where you lived with intensity? You know, the times you gave it all you had, stepped back and said “Ta da!” You can have that again all it takes is intensity. The effort is the reward. Where can you push hard to experience self satisfaction? If you exert effort and push yourself you will make your dreams come true. Come on push!

“I have done my best.’ That is about all the philosophy of living one needs.” – Lin Yutang

Here are a few photos from my run: