Why you should Attempt Unrealistic Challenges

A lot of people don't do something because they don't believe in themselves. This makes sense...I mean why try something if you think you're going to fail.


I'm here to tell you to drop that mindset and I realized this over the past two weekends.


Here's the backstory:


Last weekend I attempted to run 100 miles. I was successful, but if anyone had looked at my running stats going into my attempt they would've thought I was insane. I had completed two marathons up to this point which is 26.2 miles. That had been the farthest I had EVER run before last weekend. My weekly training mileage had hit 80 once before my attempt, but for the most part I was running 60 mile weeks. I went out and ran 60 miles on Friday and 40 miles Saturday for an elapsed time of just over 35 hours and a running time of 22 hours. It hurt really bad and I just ran today for the first time which is 8 days removed from my attempt, but I got the job done. I had my doubts along the way, but I accomplished something that leading up to the race I would've never believed I could've done at my current fitness level.


Fast forward to yesterday. I guess my run inspired my 60 year old dad to attempt a monumental challenge of his own. My dad had never completed a race greater than 5 miles and that finish was over 20 years ago. Prior to the quarantine, he never really ran for exercise besides a couple 5k races in the past two months. For exercise, he mainly does the elliptical machine, but this week he made a spur of the moment decision to attempt a virtual half marathon. I know he was in pain, but he got through it and finished his first 13.1 mile run in a sub 2:20 effort.


In both our cases we nearly added three times the distance of our farthest runs ever and we both doubted our ability to get the job done. Despite this doubt, we got the job done and achieved something that we both perceived to be unrealistic prior to our races.


This doesn't have to apply to physical challenges. It can be anything where you're doubtful about your ability to be successful, but at the end of the day what do you have to lose? If you fail so what! You learn from your failure and you keep trying until you're successful.


Everything starts with mindset. Even if you perceive the challenge to be unrealistic, it will never become reality unless you try. If you believe in yourself and you want something bad enough you won't fail. People with this mindset are the type of people that don't stop until they get the job done.


And if you do succeed on your first attempt, your conquered goal fuels you to go get the next challenge. 100 miles and 13.1 to my dad is no longer unrealistic. It's reality and we can't wait to tackle the next UNREALISTIC goal!


If you have any questions or comments I'd love to hear them! Please reach out by email or on any of my social media platforms.

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Tanner Kern is a 22 year content creator and endurance athlete from Connecticut. He is the host of The Tanner Kern Podcast and creator of "It's a Process: My Tips for Becoming the Best Version of Yourself."

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