A challenge

I was doing this weird running challenge where you ran four miles every four hours for forty-eight hours and somewhere along the fourth or fifth one my mind started really drifting. I mean with the freezing cold weather we were having, between 0 and -7 with wind chill of -6 to -24, you can only wonder so many times about whether the ice cube you just sucked off your mustache was condensation or a snot icicle. So as I was trying to get my mind off snot icicles I started thinking about why I was spending time writing. I mean do I really expect to become the next great author or even be recognized? Why exactly am I writing? I imagine every writer probably hits these thoughts at some point so I know it’s not anything new. And it certainly got my mind to focus on something besides wondering what warmth would feel like again and what exactly I was slurping down my throat on these runs.

A different kind of challenge

Writing is something that once I start the thoughts seem to flow really well from my addled brain that can’t seem to concentrate on one thing for too long a period. Of course I struggle sitting down in one place for too long a time also so the brain must be telling me something. However, once I set my mind to writing and sit down at the keyboard the thoughts that come to me on my runs just seem to flow. If only the grammar and punctuation would sneak in there at times also this writing thing would be a blast. I believe that the professionals call what just happened in this paragraph a rabbit trail that has nothing to do with what I sat down to write about. What was I writing about again?

Oh yeah! Why am I writing? Am I writing to get follows and recognition? Is there a value in what I am writing that hopefully some day will turn into a profitable second income that maybe even one day could replace my full time income and I could do this writing gig full time? And therein lies my conundrum. I do want to garner followers who recognize my strength as a writer and even some day would be willing to exchange money for my writing. But seriously is that all there is to it? Because that doesn’t seem to be fulfilling or even why words magically appear on paper or the screen in front of me.

The doubter

So as I ran along in the blackness of the night with snow falling and temperatures dropping I began to focus my mind on the importance of the why. I began to focus on why exactly I became so focused on John 10:10 and the whole “I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows].” Amplified version. As I drifted away from the snow and the cold I began to focus my thoughts and my desires on what it means to have and enjoy life and not just to have and enjoy life but to have a life in abundance, full till it overflows. For all I knew in this moment in time I could have been running under a bright blue sky with warm sun and gentle breezes blowing on me as I trotted along. I began to focus on these words and I realized I have this kind of life right now, right where I am and I’m living that kind of life.

The doubter in my brain kept reminding me that I am not financially free, I work full time for a corporation that sees me as a sales number and gross margin figure and that life isn’t perfect. From a doubter, Debbie Downer point of view I definitely do not appear as if I am living the FULL life.

But this is where Debbie Downer loses out. I am still married to the beautiful girl that enchanted me when I was fifteen years old and have been married to her for almost thirty-two years. This is the girls that I often just gaze at and remember a quote from somebody named Unknown, “Before I met you, I never knew what it was like to be able to look at someone and smile for no reason.” That’s huge in today’s culture. I still like hanging out with this strange creature that I married. Sounds pretty much like living life abundantly to me.

Abundant living

I live in some of the least traveled but exquisitely beautiful country in the world. The Bighorn Mountains are like that secret that nobody takes the time to explore. Tucked in my little corner of northeast Wyoming I get to explore paths and trails that don’t get seen by many people because everybody is so busy trying to get to the Tetons or down to the Rockies of Colorado or the expansive mountains of Montana or just passing through to go east or west but definitely not to stop and enjoy the pure, undeveloped beauty of MY mountains. And I get to live here and explore here. Wow! That sounds like living life abundantly to me.

I now weight over eighty pounds less than I did a mere seven years ago and I run really long distances and can run these distances for a really long time. I run trails, roads, prairies and mountains and do them all the time and I love running because every time I go out for a run I discover something deeper about myself and get thoughts that unlock the possibilities of what I am capable of doing and becoming. And man that charges me up because that really sounds a lot like living life abundantly.

Tolerated not appreciated

I don’t work for a perfect corporation that appreciates the people that work for them unless they produce really huge numbers in the really huge markets. Small market employees it seems are just sort of tolerated but never appreciated. However, I get to work with three of the most dynamic and wonderful people I have ever been around. They provide me with lots of joy and as they grow and become better people I get to see them in a way like a father must see his kids (I’ve never had kids so I’m not really sure about that one). See I’m proud to be working with this team and proud of what they do and how they do it and the fact that eighty percent of their waking hours during the work week they spend around each other and still enjoy each other. And I see that they come to me when they’re looking for direction and they trust me and know that I have their backs and want the best for them. When I walk into work each morning I know that I am living abundantly and I am creating abundance for the people I am privileged to work with and that makes life amazing.

Why I write

And as I write these words I realize just why I’m writing. I’m writing because life isn’t perfect, it isn’t charmed and there isn’t an extreme abundance in everything around each one of us. But we can grasp an abundant life, a full life if we will just take our eyes off our less than spectacular circumstances and past experiences and begin to imagine what is possible if we accept a life of fullness and of abundance of joy and experiences. And I write because my mind is so full I don’t want other people to miss out on what an incredible life this is to live. I write because I believe in the potential of each and every person I’m privileged to meet but more importantly because I believe the written word has the capability to draw us out of the mundane, the ordinary and the ruts we fall into and draw us into a world of endless possibilities, of dreams and of what incredible people we all are when we look past who we see in the mirror and see who the Creator sees when He sees us.

Simply put I write because I not only believe in the me I am becoming but more importantly I believe in the you that you may not even realize you are yet. And that excites me because when you begin to step out of your comfort zone and step into the realm of believing that you are more than the life you exist in, that you are an incredible person and you are vitally important to each and every person that gets the joy of being around you. I believe in who you are becoming and what you will do as you begin to not just live a life of existing but begin to live an ultra life, a life that is full and abundant. I write because of the you that I may never get the privilege of meeting in person but hopefully because of the power of words that get typed on a page you become a little more full and a little more aware of just how awesome you really are in the grand scheme of things.

That’s why the words I type may not always make sense. The grammar and the punctuation may not always be proper. But hopefully, you feel something after you read these words written from the perspective of a person who runs long distances, slurps down snot icicles and believes in you.


Visit Mike at MikeHornerUltra.com.

Over the last seven years I have lost over 80 pounds and gone from a sedentary lifestyle to now running ultra marathons. Along the way I have discovered my love for writing, for encouraging others and for living a lifestyle of constantly pushing myself beyond what I think my limits are. Visit Mike at MikeHornerUltra.com.
Over the last seven years I have lost over 80 pounds and gone from a sedentary lifestyle to now running ultra marathons. Along the way I have discovered my love for writing, for encouraging others and for living a lifestyle of constantly pushing myself beyond what I think my limits are. Visit Mike at MikeHornerUltra.com.

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