Human 2.0

Over the weekend, Nat and I stumbled upon (by which I mean we found it through stumble upon) this video*:

After watching it, Nat asked how far a hobby like ultramarathoning can really go before it crosses a line and becomes something of a pathology.  Honestly?  I don’t know the answer to that question.  David Goggins, and ultramarathoners in general, are both amazing and incomprehensible to me.  I dream of one day running a 50-miler, or at least going beyond 26.2 miles.  When I think about what it is about ultrarunning that makes me want to do it, all I can really come up with is the fact that I want to know what it’s like to push my body to its limit, and come out on the other side.

What do you think of ultrarunning?  Is it an understandable hobby or is it pathological?  Would you be willing to put yourself up to a similar challenge?

*I’ve been having all kinds of trouble getting this video to embed properly.  If you can’t see it, you can access it here.

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  1. i think i want to do one… right now i’ve been in a slump towards long runs though (for a couple yrs now) so i don’t think i’ll do one soon… i know i want to be in good condition for it so that i a) enjoy it and b) don’t cause serious damage to myself!

  2. All I know…I will never do one! I know my limits and it’s way before that. I think some people are obsessed with fitness and pushing yourself in an unsafe way. However, if you’re realistic and take care of yourself and listen to your body, then it can be a very rewarding hobby.

  3. i think it’s kind of amazing what some people can accomplish. yet, i am often left wondering how healthy of an accomplishment it is. i think pushing your limits to discover your limits is an intriguing concept. however, according to that video that guy experienced kidney failure among a smattering of other health issues. kidney failure! if that’s not the body telling you to stop what you’re doing i don’t know what is. it’s one thing to follow your goals and dreams and a whole other thing to completely disrespect your body and all its signals.

  4. I wonder that too – i do ultras because i can and i find a meaning in it for me. Not everyone is built to do this or of course wants to – but the point, or the why is,….i can do it and i do think (the ‘built’ thing) it’s not unnatural in any way. Traversing long distances is pretty natural in most of our history. But the problem of over-doing it is a separate issue entirely and is not part of the question of why people do ultras. It’s a separate, subset problem for some people. I hope this makes sense, it’s hard to put this into words!

  5. I’m torn… I want to do an ultra at some point, but I don’t want to do a 100-miler. I have a lot of ultrarunning friends and I’ve definitely seen it take a toll on their relationships too. I kind of mentioned this in my review of Marshall Ulrich’s book that I wonder if you need to have some kind of demons to be successful at it!

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