I read an article about extreme athletes. I mean like running the entire Appalachian Trail (2,189 miles) in order to beat the last fastest time recorded or running 100-mile races to the point where your kidneys shut down. The article was about human endurance and the scientists were trying to figure out what makes us keep going, and why certain people push themselves so hard that they risk death to defeat an opponent whether it be human or some outdoor goal they’ve set their mind to conquer.
Our brains tell us when we’ve had enough, but we don’t always listen, and we can find ways around the message. Apparently, our brain is like a mediator with our physical body, and if we can keep our thoughts strong, positive, and visualize the goal, we can kind of overcome the body and keep going. Focusing on the positive, “I’ve already hiked 17 miles, so I can totally do the last seven!” It’s that “look how far I’ve come” attitude that can keep us going.
As we’ve hiked over these last several weeks and anticipate our 23.7 miles on August 10th, our mantra is simple: “Take the next step.” We are not out to break any speed record, but simply to keep in mind those kids who cannot be out on the trail and who need a wish granted in their lives to have that moment of normalcy away from their medical tethers for a brief time.