Several of my friends have gotten involved with a type of endurance running race called Ragnar Relays. A Ragnar is a 24 hour relay race where 6-12 of runners work together to complete a 200 mile race. They take turns running 6-7 miles individually while their teammates pile in a vehicle and drive to the next relay handoff point several miles down the road. During the course of 24 hours, each runner will complete several legs of the race. Those who have completed these races have told me it is both grueling and exhilarating. To a person, everyone I have spoken with that has completed on of these competitions speaks with excited enthusiasm about the experience and is already planning the next time they can participate in another Ragnar Relay.
It sounds crazy… but then again, I haven’t tried a Ragnar yet.
We live in a culture that seems to do what ever it takes to avoid challenges, obstacles and difficulty. We complain when the weather isn’t optimal. We get frustrated when given a challenging project at work. We complain when our favorite sports team doesn’t win enough. We collectively spend millions of dollars each year looking for ways to make life easier.
We tend to look for the shortest path to success and often miss the out on the very things that will help us achieve the life or results we desire, because of the challenge initially presented. A healthy body can’t be achieve by whatever the latest infomercial is peddling. It takes months of exercise and daily decisions around what we eat and how we live to nurture and develop a healthy body. A healthy mind can’t be developed by merely reading book summaries and audiobooks once in a while. Developing our mind to its full potential requires constantly engaging our intellect with books, people and conversations that will challenge and stretch us beyond what is comfortable and convenient.
Success never occurs through the pursuit of quick fixes.
Success is cultivated through a consistent and repetitive set of choices to challenge ourselves.
Towards the end of a work out, my CrossFit trainer Vinny often shouts out, “If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you!” Yesterday, in my Instagram feed the following post showed up.
What are you choosing to engage in that is challenging your mind, your body and your soul? The answer to this question will define the kind of success, or lack there of, you achieve in the future.