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  • Bryan Stoneking

Why? Why Not!

So as I wrote before I was participating in the Goggins Challenge March 5-7. It was comprised of completing a 4 mile run every 4 hours over a period of 48 hours (4x4x48).

I had decided to make a couple of modifications to the original format, because as we do in CrossFit, scaling when appropriate is the right thing to do. I had determined that for me, an appropriate amount of work would be cutting the run distance to 2 miles at each leg (2x4x48). This would cut the total distance in half, but it still would be a challenge that would take a dedicated effort to complete. Another modification I made as a concession with my wife, who was concerned for my safety, would be completing the night time legs on the Concept 2 rower. Rowing is not an absolute equivalent to running but it is something we do often in CrossFit. With a 1 mile run of 1600 meters, the measurable comparison on the rower is 2000 meters. So with me committed to 2 miles I was naturally rowing 4000 meters with each leg.

The event was scheduled to start at 8pm PST on Friday so my first 3 efforts were on the rower. Sleeping between legs was really not even possible. After finishing the work, with each run or row being between 17-25 minutes, you're pretty amped up. If you take about an hour to really settle down the internal systems of the body you're about an hour and a half into the 4 hour segment. All you can think about is how you have to go again in only 2 1/2 hours. It's a mind game because your brain won't let you relax, dose off, sleep. I would just try to stay relaxed as much as possible to give the body a chance to rest, even though the mind couldn't.

Each run leg I took a different course so that I wouldn't get bored doing the same run every time. That was already happening with the row legs. My runs, while only required to be 2 miles, varied from 2.05 to the longest 3.19. I also intentionally planned for my last run to be not only the longest, but also the most challenging with the 2nd half of it all uphill. Finally as the event was concluding at the 4pm leg on Sunday I realized there was something off. According to my calculations, 8pm Friday - 4pm Sunday is not 48 hours, it's only 44! I made myself do another leg on the rower at 8pm just to be sure.

I was asked by a lot of people why I would want to do this. There was no prize, there was no finish line to cross, no medal, no free T-shirt, nothing. Why? Why deprive myself of sleep, row 4000m in the middle of the night, twice. Why run 3 separate times, for 2 days. Why do an extra row after the event is technically over...

Why Not? It is challenging myself with things like this that keep me alive, keep my going. A test of my grit, mental toughness, willingness to keep going. Doing hard things is how we keep from becoming stagnant in our existence. Learn, grow, evolve, be a better you.

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