Monday, April 19, 2010

Bold...or Crazy?!!

There is a fine line between bold and crazy.  I believe strongly that boldness catalyzes greatness.  If you are going to change your life you really, at some point at least, have to "go big or go home," and only the bold go big.  You do have to use the grey matter between your ears to ensure that you don't cross the line to crazyville and destroy your chance of living to be bold another day.  However, too many of us worry that our bold ideas are actually closer to crazy ideas and we pull back from chances to breakout and become great.

Through my wife's business, Asea (, I had the privilege of meeting an extraordinary athlete last fall at the Top of Utah Marathon Expo.  Dane Rauschenberg accomplished the amazing feat of running 52 official marathons in 52 consecutive weeks during 2006.  I had read about him in Runner's World and when I saw him signing books across from my wife's booth I had to meet him.  Thankfully, I did.

Since that time, through a sponsorship of his efforts at both the Atlanta and Honolulu Marathons, my wife and I have spent lots of time with Dane and watched him interact with hundreds of fellow runners and fans.  Often when people hear what Dane has accomplished I am intrigued by the skeptical shaking of the head or the comment: "Are you crazy?!"  That's probably a fair reaction and I can't guarantee that I didn't do the same when I first read about "52."

Today, to his great credit and as a testament to who he is, Dane is ratcheting up the boldness big time.  He will be running a 202 mile relay race known as the American Odyssey Relay ( solo! My wife and I will be there to support him and cheer him on and are excited to see how Dane will do.  He knows how very hard and painful this will be and I am sure this will take everything he has to cross the finish line in Washington DC on Saturday.  202 miles in about 48 hours! Obviously this will be a tremendous physical challenge that would exhaust most of us just thinking about it.  But I believe that the greater challenge will be of the heart and mind and that is where you and I can be as bold as Dane.

I don't know if Dane will finish this event (and he would admit his own doubts) but I do know that he is and the people around him are better for his boldness.  To be able to get himself to a place where he thinks that he can and actually wants to achieve this extraordinary feat is truly inspirational to me.  Whether he finishes or not is not the point.  The point is that Dane is exhibiting the exact kind of boldness that drives greatness. 
No matter what our "race" may be at this time or in the future I believe that we will face nothing that cannot be overcome (or at least managed well) with a healthy dose of boldness.  Let others call us crazy and try and hold us back from being our best.  That type of reaction, while not exactly helpful, is likely confirmation that we are on the right track.

Dane's attempt may seem crazy to some and for most it would be crazy to try but we each have something inside of us driving us to do something extraordinary--some battle, some effort, some dream.  The question is: Are we listening?  Do we say: "That's crazy!" and ignore the thought or do we believe that only the bold excel and act on it? 

Being extraordinary requires the almost constant ability to adapt and change to the stuff of life.  Change is hard but I believe that boldness--the true conviction to be amazing--is the key to overcoming the "hardness" of change and achieving one's very best.

I don't know where Dane will be at noon on Saturday--hopefully resting near the finish line in DC with a smile on his face--but I do know for sure that he can't accomplish this extraordinary run if he wasn't bold enough to start the race in the first place.

Go Dane!