Dane Rauschenberg, marathoner extraordinaire, is guest blogging with VARIDESK. Dane is an extreme runner, speaker and author and is world-renowned for completing 52 marathons in 52 weeks. His first book, See Dane Run, was a hit for both runners and non-runners alike. He believes that fitness shouldn’t just be viewed as a chore that keeps you healthy – it allows you to experience life to the fullest and should be incorporated with every aspect of your life, especially work. We here at VARIDESK celebrate Dane’s outlook; it aligns perfectly with our mission to bring our bodies and lives back into balance.
This is Dane’s story.
Ten years ago I ran a marathon at Disney World. Then, as I had been planning for about seven months, I ran 51 more consecutive weekly marathons that year. I could not have imagined where that decision would take me at the time. I knew it would change my life but to what degree would have been impossible to foresee.
Since I completed that endeavor, I have often been asked if anyone else has ever done that sort of feat. I guess it all depends. When it comes to the running world, there are a lot of “depends.” When someone sets a record in the NFL, there is a governing body to regulate that sort of accomplishment. The same thing applies in track and field or baseball or other organized sports. But marathoning, or more generally running, is a unique beast. It is the sport of the masses. What constitutes a marathon exactly and whether it is a race or just a group of five people looping a course repeatedly to get 26.22 miles is up to personal tastes. While I could not find a person who had taken on running an actual established marathon every single weekend for an entire calendar year, I came to the realization that it mattered not whether someone else had ever done it before.
It only mattered that I had not done it before.
Since that time, physical fitness was no longer something I endeavored to take part in because it was good for me. Things being good for you have almost never been enough of a reason for people to do them. Take a look around at all the people who still smoke (anything – not just cigarettes) for example. If knowledge alone that inhaling burnt tar and ash into your lungs was sort of a bad thing was enough to change habits, the industry would collapse tomorrow. But people do things all the time which are not good for their health. They need other reasons to make healthful changes. Fortunately, if I was one of those people, the reasons for being healthy soon became tenfold.
I wanted to see as much of the world that is possible and still do. Moreover, I wanted to actually experience the world firsthand and not while sitting safely and observing it. I wished to do so not from a television screen but by using my own locomotion. None of that would be possible if I did not take care of my health. After the 52 marathons, I went from a lifelong pursuit of law and law enforcement (I am an attorney who was applying to be an officer in the CIA) to making running an integral part of my life. Having tied my vocation of experiencing life to my ability to bound around the Earth, I had given myself even more incentive to stay fit. If I am unable tell you what it was like to jump down a volcano on an island in a lake in Nicaragua, then I would no longer have a way to put food on my table. Staying as healthy as possible is not just so I don’t cough and wheeze. Staying as healthy as possible allows me to live, both figuratively and literally.
When you see the process of keeping yourself fit as a reward to yourself to explore every nook and cranny this world has to offer, it no longer seems like a chore to take care of yourself. You can now selfishly indulge in life instead of that which is detrimental.
And life tastes so much sweeter than anything else you could possibly eat.
Want to learn more about Dane? Check out his website.