“I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms.” –Thoreau
For the majority of people, pushing ourselves to the brink of collapse is not something in the near future. I often wonder though about those who do not change their day-to-day routines for years on end. In the span of time, our life is not more than a microscopic speck. What should we do with those days we have been given? Think about how much we look forward to the weekend, only to get there and waste it . . . sometimes. Here is something to consider:
If you are . . .
30 years old today – you have about 2400 weekends left.
40 years old today – you have about 1900 weekends left.
50 years old today – you have about 1350 weekends left.
60 years old today – you have about 800 weekends left.
70 years old today – don’t buy any green bananas.
It is only a very vague estimate, but it gives some perspective. I began looking up some amazing feats accomplished by humans. There are thousands of reasons why people do what they do, some to make a statement, some to battle a disease, some to inspire others, and some do things because it has not been done before. No matter what the reason, when you accomplish something you never thought you could do, there is a statement made: I AM HERE. Personally, I know that I will not be remembered for anything incredible, but I do things that are hard to me. I feel alive when it happens. Here are few of those incredible people I found. Their names are not household, but they have grasped the meaning of Thoreau’s idea of sucking out “all of the marrow of life.”
10. Annette Fredskov, In need of Shoes
Annette ran 366 marathons in 365 days and finished the overall accomplishment by running a double marathon (52.4 miles) in 10 hours and 44 minutes!
9. Zach Bitter, A Century?
Zach Bitter ran 100 miles in 11 hours, 19 minutes and 13 seconds at the Six Days in the Dome event in Milwaukee. His pace was 6:48, which is faster than running a sub-three hour marathon!
8. Jordan Romero, First Grade Mountain Climber
Jordan started his journey of the “Seven Summits” in 2006, summiting Mt. Kilimanjaro at the age of 9.
7. Felix Baumgartner, The Human Missile
Felix skydived an estimated 24 miles, reached an estimated speed of 843.6 mph, or Mach 1.25.
6. Erden Eruc, Row, row, rowing His Boat
Erden rowed 27,004 miles around the world solo between 10 July 2007 and 27 May 2012.
5. Veljko Rogošić, Just kept swimming
Veljko swam, without flippers, in open sea for 139.8 miles, crossing the Adriatic Sea, from 29-31 August 2006. It took him 50 hours 10 minutes.
4. Karl Meltzer, Staying on the Trail
Karl hiked nearly non-stop 2,200 miles across 14 states, taking him just shy of 46 days to speed hike the entire Appalachian Trail– from Mt. Katahdin, Maine to Springer Mountain, Georgia.
3. Madhupran Schwerk, Pounding the Pave’
The Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race leads around just one block in New York City. Runners circle the block from 6 a.m. to midnight. Madhupran ran the route in 41 days, 8 hours, 16 minutes and 29 seconds.
2. Amanda Coker, Turning the Pedals
Amanda rode her bicycle 86,500 miles from May 15, 2016, to May 14, 2017, crushing the world record. That is riding your bicycle 235 miles . . . every single day for the whole 365 days! But wait . . . she did it all on one stretch of road, cycling the seven-mile loop around Flatwoods Park in Tampa, Florida, for around 13 hours per day.
- James Lawrence, The Iron Cowboy
James completed 50 full triathlons in 50 days in 50 different states. ‘Nuff said.
I also found this simple little thing: Put your birthday into this calculator and see how much you have done thus far and how much you possibly have left. What could you do with your remaining days? It is not morbid. It is a challenge to feel the very heartbeat of life. To try. To fail. To succeed. To live.