He ran a marathon in the desert without water!

My mom sent me a text message yesterday and reminded me that my dad also helped to build the train for the park that is now known as Dollywood.  I don’t know why I forgot to mention my dad except that I guess I’ve always grouped him in with ‘the uncles’ but I wanted to mention that because my dad passed away several years ago and those memories of him are very special to us.

Dollywood Train

Here is another link with much more information on how to help if you feel inclined to do so and I hope you do.

Have y’all been following the Sherri Papini case?  I first posted about it here when she went missing after going out for a jog and then again when she was found and I have to tell you I was so thrilled that she was found alive.  Very rarely is a kidnapping victim found alive and maybe that’s why the media is having a hard time with this story because it seems like there is a lot of scrutiny around her story lately.  Maybe it’s just me but it seems like every time I see her name in the media lately it’s related to doubts about her story.

side eye

I’m bothered by this on so many levels because there’s a part of me that finds it infuriating that people would think unless you wind up dead a kidnapping story must be a hoax.  And then there’s a part of me, (the research nerd and the reddit junkie,) that believes someone is hiding something.  I’m not sure what I believe but I’m still drawn to the story.

Wim Hof is the Iceman.  He holds 20 world records including the longest ice bath.  He has the ability to control his body temperature through his breathing exercises called the Wim Hof Method.  He actually teaches the practice.

This man is no joke.  He actually complete a full marathon above the arctic circle in Finland and he finished in 5 hours and 25 minutes.  Oh, and if you don’t think that’s badass, consider the fact that he was wearing only shorts!

I recently watched a documentary about Wim Hof and how he controls his immune system.  It was the most interesting documentary I think I’ve ever seen and I’ve been obsessed with this man ever since.

Wim Hof allowed a group of research scientist to inject him with toxins which would typically cause a person to become ill and the body to begin to fight the infection but Wim Hof was able to suppress his immune system and alter his response.  He was not affected at all!  It was amazing.

Our immune system is amazing and it is vital for protection against invaders such as bacteria and viruses but adversely there are conditions in which the immune system kicks in when it shouldn’t and it attacks.  These are called autoimmune disorders and they include rheumatoid arthritis, M.S., Lupus, and more.   Researchers believe that with his method of controlling his own immune system, Wim Hof could shed light on controlling autoimmune disorders.

It’s a fascinating documentary.  And he only practices cold therapy, he also ran a marathon in the Namib Desert.  Oh, and did I mention that he ran that without any water?  Yeah, he did.

Follow the link above if you want to watch it and I know you do.

Would you run through the snow in shorts?

When your mind fails you

I’ve mentioned it a couple of times before but it bears repeating, sometimes you don’t succeed the first time or even the second or third but you’ve got to keep trying because eventually you’ll get there.

For the month of November I told y’all about the Planksgiving Challenge and how I was doing it and a lot of you jumped on board as well. The goal was to perform a 5 minute plank by the end of November and if the first paragraph of this post didn’t clue you in, my results were not even close to 5 minutes.

Unfortunately the best time for me was 3:47 and that was actually several days before the month ended. Try as I might, I just couldn’t get past 3 minutes in the final days of November. In fact, this was my total plank time this morning.

plank time
So what happened?

I can’t really pinpoint one thing because it was cumulative really but the main issue was my shoulders. As strong as my shoulders are they just gave out on me before any other part of my body and I would just collapse.  Or maybe not, maybe it was something else.

Blaming my body, it sounds good in theory, but then I did make it to 3:47 at one point so there must have been another issue, something more sinister, something evil at play here that prevented me from getting that 5 minute plank.

Was I not trying hard enough? Had I not been preparing my body for the challenge? Was I not strong enough? So many questions….So much doubt.

And then yesterday I was listening to the television and I heard someone say, ‘Your body didn’t fail you. You trained, you prepared, you knew you could do it, and you were ready, but your mind failed you.’

And that was the truth.  That was my truth.  It wasn’t my shoulder, it was my head. I gave up. I threw in the towel.  I let my head win.  But I’m not letting it get to me, I’m not giving up because I’m extending my challenge through December and if it takes me the whole damn month, that’s fine because I’m going to get this. I am.  I’m coming for you 5!

Sometime last week I came across a really interesting article with Bruce Tulloh. In the article he talks about the truth in running and he shares what he’s learned from running the last 70 years.

Bruce TullohFrom the article:
If there is one word that defines the successful runner it is “irrepressibility”. He (or she) always turns up, rain or shine, and always puts 100% into the sessions. If he has a bad race, he looks for the reasons. If he gets an injury, he looks for ways of staying fit. Above all, he loves to run, because that defines the person he is. He will be a runner all his life.

Click here to read the article in its entirety, it’s a really good read.

If you participated in the Planksgiving challenge I want to know how it went. I want to hear from you!  Leave me a comment and tell me how far you got, what motivated you and if you plan to continue for December.  (I’d love to have some company this month!)

Have you ever given into your head games and given up on yourself?  (I think we all know I have.)