Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Gentle Reminder

The following quote was posted by Gordon Ainsleigh on his Facebook wall a few weeks ago.  It resonated very loudly within me.  What a very simple and true statement that can be applied to guide one's entire direction in this world.

"Just a gentle reminder to follow your gifts, avoid distractions that steer you away from where you want your life to go, pursue at least two exercise disciplines with zeal and mindfulness, and fill your diet with whole grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables. Remember that you've been placed on this earth to do some things that only you can do, and if you don't do them, they won't get done."

Gordon is a renaissance man.  I truly admire and respect his approach to life.  As a longtime chiropractor, he has challenged conventional thinking in the medical community and embraced wellness from a simplistic, fundamental level.  I believe this "gentle reminder" captures the essence of this approach to life very well.

Western States 100-mile Endurance Run finisher's buckle.

Amongst those of us in the hardcore ultramarathon community he is truly one of the pioneers.  In 1974 he toed the starting line of the Western States 100 for the first time.  This is significant because all the other entrants were horses!  Gordon's horse came up lame and he figured if a horse could do it so could he.  A few years later the official human version of the event was born.  Gordie has officially finished the Western States 100-mile 22 times.  At the age of 63 this past year he completed the entire 100 miles just over the official cut-off time in about 31 hours.  

Let's break-down the quote form above:

Follow your gifts...

We all have unique talents, abilities, and passions that we have to offer the world.  Hard work and persistence can be used to overcome a lack of natural talent or other shortcomings, but if you can apply those same efforts and persistence to your strengths and passions even better!

Avoid distractions...
These can come in many shapes and forms.  Negative, poisonous people.  Possessions and trappings of the rat race.  Do not make the mistake of basing your life on stuff.  The true good stuff in life is based on unique, fulfilling experiences, not stuff!  Dream big, act boldly in that direction, and follow your heart.  This will surely lead to the fulfillment of YOUR personal destiny.

Pursue 2 exercise regiments with zeal and mindfulness...

Our bodies are designed for motion, and lots of it.  Use it or lose it.  Movement heals.  Some diverse or complimentary activities will add many quality years to your life.  Gordon obviously runs, a lot.  He is also an avid rock climber among other things.  In his 60's he can run circles around most of people of any age.  This does not happen by accident!

Fill your diet with whole grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables...

Again, this is what our bodies have been designed to consume for healthy fuel.  Not all of this processed, artificial crap most people buy in the grocery stores and happily pay way too much money for in restaurants.  A well-rounded balance of many different fruits and veggies will give you all the nutrients your body needs.  Look in the mirror at your body.  Naked.  This reflection showing back to you is a direct result of how YOU have taken care of your vessel in life.  Your exercise regiment and dietary choices have directly given you this result.  That is the plain and simple truth.  If you do not like what you see, and more importantly how you feel, do something about it.  The power is within all of us!

There are things on this earth only YOU can do...

We all possess a unique combination of talents, gifts, passions, and opportunities to find the path of our personal destiny.  Along the way people will come into your life for a specific reason.  Act on it!   That opportunity is presenting itself specifically for you.  If you let it pass it is gone forever.  So many amazing movements of human kindness started from seemingly insignificant acts.  The ripple effect of these positive actions is usually infinitely impactful beyond our perception.  Sometimes only later do we realize how huge that moment and the initial step we took to act might have actually been.

Some people seem to think the path to happiness and fulfillment in life cannot be this
simple.  We all have a choice.  Free will if you will!  I choose simple.  

What do you choose? 


Rachael said...

He's the horse guy?! AWESOME! Great...reminder. I'm wondering, though, if I can subcontract my 'focus' solutions...

Anonymous said...

Hey Dave,

Long time reader, first time commentator. Have any advice for someone who is burning out? Just a bit about me, I started running two years ago after smoking for 25 yrs. I lost a lot of weight, not as much as I'd like, but I was 5'9" 270 now I am 225 or so, would like to get down more, but that is another story. For some reason lately I find my really not being enthusiastic about running (cutting short workouts, no motivation etc.) I have taken a couple of weeks off to regroup, but what do you do if/when this happens? I was just curious. Oh and I do plan to do an ultra (50k to start) after doing some half marathons and a marathon later this year. If you want, you can email me at Look forward to hearing from you.