Paul Butzi |||

Last year, at about 10am on Sunday, August 15th, I was running Hamster Endurance Runs, and I was about 27 hours in. I was deeply behind on calories, struggling with hydration, and I was inexpressibly tired, my feet were an utter disaster, and everything hurt. I had about 15 miles to go to reach my goal of 101.4 miles, and I had absolutely no clue how I was going to get it done.

I am not really the sort of person who promises himself rewards if he hits a milestone, but at that moment I needed every scrap of mental fortitude I could find, and I promised myself that if I reached 101.4 miles, I would give myself a reward.

For the better part of a lap I distracted myself with musing about what the reward should be. And as I was climbing the biggest hill on the course the choice became obvious: I was going to buy myself the nicest running poles I could find, because I was pretty sure that at that moment I was unable to proceed without poles.

I reached the 101.4 mile mark. Poles are part of what got me past a number of problems and got me to 100 miles.

And then I didn’t follow through and get myself the nicest poles I could find. Somehow I didn’t feel like I really deserved them. It wasn’t about money. I can afford whatever poles I decide on. I give away far more money every year to support various charitable causes. It was just a thing in my head where it’s hard to convince myself I deserve to have them.

You wouldn’t treat your friend that way. I wouldn’t treat a friend that way. Why the hell did I treat myself that way? I deserved better treatment, and the only person to blame is me.

Pulling out my poles as I got ready for Hamster this year, I realized what I’d done. Running Hamster, I realized how awfully I’d treated myself, and I resolved to fix the situation regardless of the outcome this year.

Here they are:

new poles

So lightweight I can’t quite believe it. Clever gloves that clip into the handle, instead of the annoying straps that drive me crazy. They are just super nice. And I deserve them.

Up next Failure “Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.” — Winston Churchill At Hamster Endurance, I ran 67.6 Compactenna 2m/440+
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