Coauthored by: Andrew Brooks and Brian Winter
On January 30th, 2018, we’ll be standing at Novo (Novolazarevskaya) base camp in Antarctica about to begin the first of 7 marathons on all 7 continents in 7 days. This epic adventure, called the World Marathon Challenge, will be a grueling personal test characterized by back-to-back marathons split across 7 distinct time zones aggravated by limited sleep during 50+ hours on a plane. Coupled with a huge amount of time spent away from our respective families, the months of dedicated training and cost of the event, one has to ask……Why?
The obvious answer is we’re both in our 40s and don’t want to buy yellow corvettes for our mid-life crisis’. Plus, hair plug technology still has a way to go.
While there’s certainly a ‘time of life’ element of challenging ourselves physically while our knees and backs can still handle the rigor, the fact that a 70 year old did it last year kind of shames that vein of thinking. Rather, we find ourselves about to embark on this wild undertaking based on a common life philosophy we’ve shared and collaborated on for nearly two decades.
We all have unlimited creative power to drive high performance, overcome obstacles and achieve our dreams.
The Trail and Ultra Running group is an amazing testament to this belief. Given how wondrous it is we live in a time where an event like the World Marathon Challenge is even possible, we wanted to take a moment to frame how we’re both thinking about this creative power and why this event, (as are so many ultra events), is so much more than just a race, but rather the manifestation of a set of guiding beliefs and philosophies we think mane of us may share.
The World Marathon Challenge is not only a realization of a long-time dream, but a reminder of how much inspiration and creativity flows from pushing oneself into interesting, uncomfortable, challenging situations.
- Finding Creative Confidence – We are all creative in our own way. Mastering how to ignite creativity generates a perpetual machine of confidence in all of us. How many of us find that spark out in nature or on a trail?
- Getting Uncomfortable – Continuously putting yourself in situations that are challenging and make you feel a little uncomfortable is what keeps that fire burning and fuels more creativity. That’s often what drives the ‘click’ to register for the next race.
- Embracing the Journey – The race itself will be over in a heartbeat, but the journey has been years in the making. We all get caught up in chasing the promotion, the raise, the house, the car, the race result; and we forget about the process of achieving that outcome.
- Being Present in the Moment – Many of us get to the point of being on the verge of achieving a dream or goal and simply forget to be fully present when it actually happens. Actively paying attention to thoughts, emotions and feelings – with an expectation of recording them later – is a tool for being even more present in the moment.
The World Marathon Challenge sits directly at the intersection of 3 areas of creative energy that structure how I believe we can all set goals and objectives in our lives. This event, the personal challenge to complete it, the places we’ll visit, the people we’ll meet and and the inspiration it has given me are a ‘perfect storm’ of active creation across each of these areas:
- Achievements – Pursuing and succeeding in unique and meaningful accomplishments that can be distinctly measured; be they races, works of art or new businesses.
- Experiences – Spending time immersing in nature’s wonder, discovering new places and cultures, and participating in exotic activities.
- Connections – Building deeper relationships with friends and family who are partners on the journey and active participants in creating achievements and experiences together.
Why we’re sharing this together
We share a collective belief system around this power of creativity and the raw act of creation that winds as a common thread through our lives:
- We’re both ultra-athletes. Brian has completed over 50 marathons, the Javelina Jundred 100-miler and the TransRockies 120-mile stage race. After the World Marathon, Brian will move on to the Triple Crown of 200 mile races — the Bigfoot 200, Tahoe 200 and Moab 240 in 2018. Andrew has completed the Houston Ironman, Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim, the TransRockies, and Spartan Iceland Ultra World Championship. Later in 2018 he will compete in the Ultra 520K triathlon in Canada and the Moab 240.
- We’re both authors and speakers. Brian has spoken about technology and creativity in over 20 countries worldwide. Andrew has recently published his first fiction novel and actively blogs (with an attempt at humor) about life, parenting and the daily struggles we all face.
- We’re both entrepreneurs. In the past twenty years we’ve both founded and built (as a team and individually), a range of technology, software, design, consulting, personal success and service businesses.
Collectively, we’ve come to recognize the World Marathon Challenge as a defining moment for synthesizing and then sharing these philosophies more broadly, to using the experience to inspire more people to unleash their own creative power.
We understand that not everyone can, should or wants to be an entrepreneur, ultra-athlete, public speaker or writer. But wherever you’ll be on January 30, 2018 – be it Antarctica or Anaheim – you can lead a creative life, a life driven by creative intention and marked by unique and deeply personal goals and objectives that make your time spent here rich and meaningful.
If you want to reach us to follow the journey around the world, learn more about how to unleash your creativity, share your story and connect, we’d love to hear from you.
Connect with Andrew Brooks @ www.andhesays.com