I’ve been playing around with the idea of running 30 miles on my 30th birthday for a while. My running base is about 25 miles a week and a typical long run is 10 miles. It wouldn’t be that far of a leap to get to 30 miles with a run / walk strategy. I like to do things that scare me a little bit, you know? I’ve done marathons, triathlons and travelled to places way outside my comfort zone. For the start of this new decade I figured, why not? Let’s do 30 miles and I can reflect on what I’ve learned the last 30 years.
The best thing about running 30 for 30 was the fact that almost every mile I had a partner. I ran 10 miles with my dad, 5 miles with my spouse, then walked 6 miles with my mom, 3 miles with my friends and 2 miles with my brother and his girlfriend. It was a huge outpouring of love to help me traverse that amount of miles in a single day. I ended up clocking an average 13min / mile and it took me about 6.5 hours to complete. Not bad, right? I finished 30min ahead of schedule. Turns out I can walk a 15min/mi in my sleep.
See below the different “Aha” moments I’ve had or come to learn in the last 30 years:
1. Job titles are overrated
2. You are not important to the world, but you are important to your friends and family
3. Dogs are the best
4. Choosing the right life partner will have the largest impact in all aspects of your life (physical health, financial health, emotional health, etc.)
5. Believing in God is both a great insurance policy and a way to have a life purpose
6. Physical exercise is a gateway to other forms of health
7. Waking up early is the best life hack and you feel like you have so much more time to yourself that isn’t consumed by work or life obligations
8. Trophies and achievements are nice, but not how we should evaluate our own worth
9. Challenges and doing scary things are a great way to feel unstuck
10. You can have more than 1 identity or version of yourself and it can change over time
11. A great friend is one that you can pick up where you leave off
12. Less phone usage the better
13. Financial freedom starts in your 20s
14. Other people’s values don’t have to be your own and vice versa
15. Travel is a great way to realize that other people have different values and nobody is right or wrong, we just prioritize differently
16. Parents are humans too
17. It is easy to live in a bubble with work and friends you surround yourself with. The world is vastly different than the company you keep
18. Stay scrappy and frequent places that aren’t the nicest, otherwise you become someone who constantly sends back your food and is never happy
19. Learning a new skill is a great way to remind yourself that you suck at a lot of things
20. People have vastly different opportunities presented to them in life (better or worse than your own), and we have to meet people where they are
21. You’ll never regret responding with kindness
22. You have to advocate for yourself (professionally and personally) and not assume someone is doing it for you
23. Work can partially fulfill your purpose, but it’s ok to be trading time for money too and have other aspects of your life as the fulfilling piece
24. Local elections are more important than national elections
25. Life is about taking ownership. It sucks but it is factual
26. Saying yes should be enthusiastic, not a default answer to every question
27. Education is critical and it’s usually the barrier to earning a high income
28. Generational wealth is real
29. There is no such thing as truly independent. We have to trust, help and rely on one another to live in a society together
30. Life can be a lot of fun, really hard, sad, disappointing, exciting and all the other adjectives.
That’s all the life lessons I have in me at age 30! May the next decade bring more wisdom, and hopefully lessons not learned the hard way. Easy learned lessons would be preferred.
Curious about how I broke up the miles and what I packed to prepare myself? Perhaps that warrants another post to describe. Until then, what life lessons are you learning in your current decade?
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