Taking On Impossible Challenges

The Barkley Marathons is happening right now. Do you know about this? I’d describe it for those that are unfamiliar, but there’s no way I could do it justice. My writing skills aren’t that strong. Yet.

Check out one of the documentaries on it. The most recent is called The Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats Its Young.

The title tells you all you really need to know.

It’s hard to nail down specifics on this race. That’s by design. But I’m pretty sure it’s been a thing since the mid 80’s and since then, only like 15 people have ever finished it.


I love the idea that there are people out there that go back, year after year, to take it on. Year after year, they fail to finish. And still, they go back.

What amazing persistence and determination.

What a complete love for life you must have to put your mind and body through this level of grueling in search of a level of success that seems impossible.

I was chatting with one of my Heart & Sole girls while running the other day. She wants to join the military. She’d join today if she could. She wants to take on the world that I suspect has been rather unkind to her to date. She’s unwilling to lie down and accept defeat. She wants to take on the impossible challenges and crush them. Despite her experiences, she knows her amazing. She owns it. And she’s going to find her success.

THAT is who I want to be.

I don’t have an interest in taking on the Barkley (I can’t even manage to find my way through the Blue Ridge Marathon course that I’ve run repeatedly over the last year…). The Barkley requires some skills that I don’t really feel the need to develop. Like researching the registration process. Map reading. Using a compass. Surviving Chupacabras at night. Responding promptly to a conch alarm. Tearing pages out of books. (Why don’t you just have me stab a puppy while you’re at it, Laz???)

But I do want to live that kind of life. I want to take on impossible challenges. I want to push myself beyond what I know I am capable of. I want to take the trauma and stresses and struggles that I have and will face and turn them into a success I didn’t know I could achieve until I achieve it. 

For now, I’ll start with the Blue Ridge Double. And I will continue to allow my Heart & Sole girls to inspire that in me as I try to inspire it in them. Kind of like a mutual challenge society.

If you’re on the Insta, follow the hashtag #barkleymarathons

You’re gonna wanna watch the human drama and ability unfolding over there.

Leave a Reply