Can’t see this video? Click here to watch it in the post.

I used to think that long distance sports were boring. I mean running is just putting one foot in front of the other a bazillion times in a row. It’s really unlikely that you have to face the same fears But then I started running. And then racing. While my distances are quite short, I’ve realized just how invigorating it is.

But the Ironman is a whole other beast:

  • 2.4 mile swim
  • 112 mile bike
  • 26.2 mile run

That is a lot of distance to cover. Any one of these activities is challenging – attaching them together is pretty nuts. But people do it. And not just young healthy people. Old people. Disabled people. Fat guys. This race is both monumentally hard and seriously doable for the people who put in the work.

I think the lesson here is that ordinary people can accomplish unimaginably hard things given proper training and dedication. If you have more time, you should watch the video below of Matt Hoover from The Biggest Loser who runs at 8:40 final mile, 17 hours after starting the race. That is no joke. Next time you think you can’t do something, think of this.

Can’t see the video? Click here to view the post on the blog.

Parkour / Freerunning is an activity I really admire and I was reminded of it when I was emailed by Zachary Cohn, an Art of Ass-Kicking reader and vice chair of Parkour Visions. There are a lot of gymnastics and martial arts elements to Parkour / Freerunning and I can really appreciate how hard these things are. I’m a little sad that I’ll never really be able to participate because my bum knee wouldn’t be able to handle the landings, but it’s sure fun to watch.

This video is an awesome reminder of what’s possible with coaching, practice, courage and effort. None of these people were born knowing how to do flips off walls or jump off high surfaces with a twisting motion and just roll out of it. And you better believe they were pretty damn scared the first dozen times (or more) when they were trying it on their own. But they pushed through their fears, injuries and self-doubt to reach this high level of ability. And you can too.

A Day in the Life of Jason Shen from Jason Shen on Vimeo.

I think one reason movies appeal to us is that they allow us to step into a fantasy version of someone else’s life. Reality is of course different, but perhaps just as interesting.

I shot this over a period of a week using my iPhone. Perhaps I’ll do another post on what a day is actually like time-wise. For now, I’d like to issue a call to all my readers: post your own day-in-the-life video.

I’d love to see it.