In 2017, John Kelly became only the 15th finisher of the Barkley Marathon, an epic race through the rugged mountains of Tennessee. He battled through pain, exhaustion, sleep deprivation and three years of preparation in order to achieve one of the biggest accomplishments in ultra running. It was an incredible accomplishment that only someone with a solid physical foundation and mental stoicism can endure.
An incredible athlete who has fallen in love with mountain running, over time John has discovered a lot about his limits, his motivations, and his fortitude. He’s also developed what is an outstanding mindset as it pertains to WHY we pursue adventure and how to walk that fine line between pushing your limits and putting yourself to unnecessary risks (which he writes about on his fantastic blog post “Look How Tough I Am”).
In this episode we chat about that fine line.
When should you push to the limit (which…funnily enough when I typed that phrase into a thesaurus the first suggestion that popped up was “injury”…illustrating the complications of this discussion perfectly) and when should you come back to fight another day? What are healthy reasons to really challenge yourself physically and what are unhealthy reasons? When taking on an adventure why does your WHY matter so much? How does the Barkley find your weaknesses and how does one adjust and adapt?
We also talk a bit about his next big adventure as he explores some big trails around his new home. He will be linking three big English “Rounds”, running each of them and then biking in-between. It’s something he’s created and he’s calling it the “Grand Round”. I love the idea of self created adventures and this one looks to be pretty epic!
Hope you guys enjoy the show!! Thanks again John for coming on and sharing all your awesome philosophies on endurance racing and adventure!
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