I love running. There is definitely something to the whole “runner’s high” and there is no better way to give your internal plumping a high intensity workout. I know what you are thinking and no, your 2 minute weekly sexual escapade doesn’t even come close to running 5 miles at various levels of intensity.
Having done two marathons thus far and having firsthand knowledge of what it feels like, the story I am about to share with you is truly remarkable in many ways. First, it will show you no matter what your circumstances are, just as the character in our story, you are capable of astonishing things. Second, that there are literally no walls strong enough to contain any of us. Finally, I will break it down for you and show you the reasons for his success. Not only that, but I will show you how you can use it in your daily life to reach unimaginable heights.
The story begins when a seemingly unassuming older gentleman by the name of Cliff Young joined the most grueling ultra runner race on the face of the earth in 1983. Young, who was 61 years old at the time showed up to the race wearing his overalls and rain boots. Seriously ?!?
Needless to say, the rest of the starting line, consisting of seasoned professional runners at the peak of their game and sponsored by the likes of Nike were concerned. Not in terms of the competition, but for the mental health of the old man. Surely, some thought that perhaps Young had escaped from a nearby mental institution. Just by looking at him, there was no way he was going to make it through the first day. After all, this was the world’s most grueling race.
A race so grueling that only Australians could come up with it. Run between what were then Australia’s two largest Westfield shopping centers: Westfield Parramatta, in Sydney and Westfield Doncaster, in Melbourne. That’s right, from Sydney to Melbourne at the distance of 544 miles or 875 kilometers.
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For my geographically challenged readers, that is the same distance as from the New York City to Charlotte, North Carolina or from Los Angeles to Salt Lake City. Either way you twist it, it’s a long freaking way to run.
Now, Cliff Young was a toothless potato farmer from Beech Forest, Victoria who lived in a hut with his family on a 2,000 acre farm. Seeing this old man stand right next to the “pinnacles” of human specimen and athletic performance, the shell shocked media shoved a microphone in his face and asked what will his last thoughts be when his heart explodes just a few miles down the road.
He told them, “I grew up on a farm where we couldn’t afford horses or four wheel drives… whenever the storms would roll in, I’d have to go out and round up the sheep. We had 2,000 head, and we have 2,000 acres. Sometimes I would have to run those sheep for two or three days. It took a long time, but I’d catch them. I believe I can run this race; it’s only two more days. Five days. I’ve run sheep for three.”
If there was any doubt that Cliff Young was insane, it was now gone. As the gun went off, the elite runners took off like a bunch of horny 16 year olds looking for a cheap hooker, leaving Young in the dust. He was now on his own.
Young slowly made his way down the course using his by now famous shuffle running style. Step after step and mile after mile. Just like a giant container ship impervious to anything around it, sailing through the ocean waters at slow speed. Then something incredible happened.
When the night fell, 17 hours after the start of the race, the elite runners setup camp by the side of the road to rest and to heal their, by now, broken down bodies. That was the typical regiment during this race, 17 hours of running to be followed by 7 hours of sleep and rest. While resting, no one gave a second thoughts about Cliff Young. After all, by this point Young was either tens of miles behind or dead by the side of the road.
Yet, Cliff never stopped for the night. He kept running. Surviving on hot chocolate, water and cookies he kept shuffling his feet, one in front of the other, like a mindless robot working on the factory floor. What Cliff forgot to mention at the starting line is that he chased sheep on his farm day and night, at times for 3-4 days straight without stopping or sleeping.
By the time the “Elite Runners” woke up the next morning Young was already dozens of miles down the road. They have tried to catch up, never to see Young again. Every time they have gotten close, their bodies were so broken down that they needed to rest…… again. They couldn’t go on.
Cliff Young never stopped. Old, toothless, wearing overalls, rain boots and suffering from arthritis he crossed the finish line in Melbourne in five days, fifteen hours and four minutes. Annihilating the previous all-time record for the Westfield Sydney to Melbourne Ultra Marathon by TWO days. TWO freaking days. All while destroying the entire field of the elite athletes.
This unbelievable feat from otherwise unremarkable “Old Man” made Cliff an overnight sensation in Australia. When presented with a prize money check for $10,000 he claimed that he was unaware of any prize money and just wanted to run the race. In a true sportsmanship fashion he immediately decided to split the money evenly between the rest of the field.
Detailed analysis of Cliff’s story can present us with an in depth blueprint for an unconventional shortcut to “succeeding at almost anything”. Let’s explore a few points.
Ignorance Is Bliss:
It truly is. For instance, Cliff showed up to the race without any idea of what a “professional” runner should look like. Instead of sleek Nikes he had rain boots, instead of tight running shorts he had overalls. No one told him that he had to stop for the night and rest as he blissfully ran past the field. Did any of that matter? A great deal.
Most of my own successes came out of complete ignorance. For instance, what kind of a moron starts his own hedge fund at the age of 21, without any capital and/or experience. That’s right, this one. Yet, waiting for that experience or for that prefect moment is a double edge sword. Yes, you might get that experience, but that perfect time will never come.
Cliff teaches us to step up to the starting line and to just go for it. No matter how difficult or impossible it might seem at the time.
No One Really Knows Anything:
One glance at Cliff and his competition thought he might have escaped from a mental hospital. He wasn’t even an afterthought in terms of the race. He didn’t fit the bill and as such was automatically dismissed.
In life, that is a sure fire way to get your ass handed back to you. Especially by the competitors. As the saying goes…
“Assumption Is The Mother Of All Fuckups”
This is evident in today’s startup entrepreneurship community. Everyone, from your mother to uncle Tom, from a respected CEO of a fortune 100 company to the cashier at the nearby 7-11 “KNOW” what your startup should do and how to succeed. In reality, no one really knows.
Cliff teaches us that at the end of the day the only way to succeed is to try.
There Is Always A Way To Beat Your Competition:
What chance does a toothless 61-year old with arthritis has against a perfect athletic specimen half his age in a 544 mile race? If you are gambling man, when Vladimir Putin becomes an American President, should be your immediate answer.
Yet, not only did Cliff win, but he wiped the floor with the competition. Proving once and for all, that for as long as you are alive, there is always a way to resolve all of your issues and/or to win at life.
All Walls Are Imaginary:
The walls we see around ourselves are figments of our own imagination. We all have our excuses of why our lives have turned out a certain way. Why it didn’t work out or why we don’t have certain things. These are the walls we build around ourselves to feel safe and adequate. A safe place where failure or pain of any kind becomes impossible.
The flip side is that the same walls prevent us from having the life of our dreams. Cliff teaches us to eliminate all walls. As if they were never there.
All Circumstances Are Irrelevant:
All of us don’t have enough of what we need. That is a constant chatter I hear from friends or acquaintances. Only if I had more money, I would start a business. If I had a better education, I would finally get the job of my dreams. Only if I was better looking, I would finally get that girlfriend. Enough of this horseshit.
Listen, if Mr. Young was able to win the most grueling race on the face of the earth while running in overalls and rain boots, you can do the same. With such a mindset all circumstances and all barriers vanish into thin air.
If People Laugh At You….You Are On The Right Path:
This had happened to me on numerous occasions. Coming from either family or strangers it can be hurtful and even detrimental to your overall plans. Doubt only creates more doubt.
Once again, Cliff teaches us how to deal with the situation in the most appropriate way. After being labeled as a “crazy old guy” by both the media and the elite athletes, Cliff chose to ignore all attacks on his being. By ignoring the chatter and delivering a stunning defeat he silenced his critics. We should all try to do the same in all areas of our lives. Put your head down, work your ass off and deliver.
HERE IS HOW TO APPLY THE LESSONS FROM CLIFF YOUNG TO YOUR OWN LIFE TO ACHIEVE THE IMPOSSIBLE
1. Concentrate On What You Would Like To Do
You know what….screw everyone else. That includes your parents, your wife and even your ungrateful kids. Go after your dream and make it happen. That is the only thing in life that will make you happy and truly fulfilled. Nothing else will.
Do you want to start that business? Do it. Do you want to get an MBA? Go for it. Do you want to date that hot girl? Ask her out. So what is she says no. There are about 2 Billion other hot girls out there. Do you want to marry your dog? Who am I to judge you. Follow your dream.
2. Put Your Blinders On & Go After What You Want
This tends to be self explanatory, but most people don’t get it. They ask for and subsequently die under an enormous weight of interference coming from desired objective. In other words, they don’t know how to get what they want. Here is what you have to do.
A. Identify Exactly What You Want: Be as specific and as descriptive as possible. The more you know the easier it will be to get there.
B. Create An Exact Road Map: Know the precise steps you have to take in order to reach your ultimate objective. Write them out in a detailed fashion, one after another.
By doing both you create an exact pathway you have to walk. You understand exactly where you are, where you are going and the steps you have to take. This will allow you to put the blinders on and simply walk from step to step on the way to your ultimate objective.
3. Ignore Everyone While You Suck In All Available Information
As mentioned earlier, very few people can understand or even relate to what you are trying to accomplish. While they might have general knowledge, seldom can they fit into your exact shoes. Keep one simple thing in your mind to safeguard against the Naysayers and Cassandras.
Free advice is worth just as much.
Instead, learn as much as you can. Concentrate on your area of participation and suck in as much information as you can while moving through the steps in point #2. Remember, it is those who outwork and outlast that win the game.
4. Shift Into The State Of Superhuman Power.
Though shifting into the state of Superhuman Power described throughout LastSpartan.com website you gain the ability to solidify the points above into an unbreakable bond. By doing so you create a situation where failure becomes impossible and your eventual success is guaranteed.
In other words, it allows you to shift into Cliff Young’s state of consciousness. A state so powerful that his eventual success was guaranteed, even before the race was started.
We stated out by looking at an amazing story of endurance, perseverance and victory. Cliff Young was a 61-year old farmer who defied the odds and showed us what we are all capable of. By studying what he was able to accomplish it becomes clear that we (as human beings) have no limits in regards to what we are able to accomplish. We further looked at the lessons his story provided and what you should do in order to break all of your barriers. To live the life of your dreams. It is only by doing what you want, going after your desires with blinders on, learning as you go along and shifting into the state of superhuman power will you be able to accomplish all of your desires and goals. That is 100% of the time and with 100% certainty.
Thank you Cliff Young for teaching us all a valuable lesson.
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