Tuesday, September 4, 2012


“Get out of your comfort zone.”

After running 115 miles over a 3 day span, this was one of the lessons that was grounded into my brain.  The comfort zone is, well, comfortable.  Being stuck inside this box will force stagnation. Stagnation leads to moving in the wrong direction.  Goals do not get set by staying comfortable.  We need to learn to be comfortable being uncomfortable (quote by Bill Parisi).  It’s a place that is hard for people to be in but it truly pushes us to become better.  The first day of training was a 48 mile run which we completed in 8 hours and 30 minutes.  The second day was a 40 mile run which we completed in 7 hours.  And the third and final day was a 26 mile marathon.  I came to a point on the third day, 20 miles into the run, 108th mile of the weekend and a revelation hit me.  "DIG DEEPER JUSTIN."  I said out loud to myself.  "YOU HAVE MORE."  I continued.  My body was tired and my legs were sore but somehow I was able to dig deeper to find strength (this is a metaphor to life; dig deep in the toughest of times to find more of YOU).  I absolutely killed the next 5 miles.  I was running fast.  My heart rate was low, I had a smooth rhythm, and I was very controlled.  It came to me then, in the toughest of times, we have to realize that we have more inside of us.  We have more strength, more drive, more determination.  But the question is, are we willing to dig deep to find that inner strength?  It's hard because it's uncomfortable.  But we have it....  This alone will create a determined mindset that will drive you to your goals.  Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself.  Don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone.  Don’t be afraid to push a little harder.  Be smart, yes, but GO FOR IT! You will truly see what you can do when you allow yourself to bust down that comfort zone wall.  
If you haven't heard, I am embarking on a journey that will exceed my physical limits.  To inspire others to live with this LIMITLESS and I CAN mindset, I am going to run 300 miles.  Physical, mental and spiritual limits will be broken as I begin my trek from my hometown of Visalia, CA to The Santa Monica Pier.  It will be a 300-mile ultra distance run that will test every bit of my physical capacity but will also test my mental mindset and will ultimately tap into the deepest part of my human spirit.  Let me make a clear statement: I AM NOT AN ULTRA DISTANCE RUNNER.  I am in the process of training to become one but I do not have experience in the ultra-distance world.  I have done 1 Ironman, 5 Half Ironmans and I have ran 7 half marathons.  I have completed over 40 triathlons ranging from sprints to Ironmans.  I have never raced in a solo marathon or ultra-distance marathon.  But, I DO BELIEVE IN MYSELF.  I have this belief in myself to conquer the aspirations I put on myself.  People ask what is LIMITLESS?  This is LIMITLESS.  

See, too many times we "just get through the day".  The reason why I know this is that when I ask people how their day is going, many people say, "Oh, I'm just getting through another day."  That is the problem right there.  Each day is NOT just another day.  Each day can be powerful and full of many "take-aways" if you create this mindset.  And it starts with your thoughts, then your words, and then your actions.  We are extremely fortunate to be given opportunity each day to create inspiration in our life.  This inspiration can come in the form of a good workout, a relationship, a teacher or mentor, a healthy and energized life, so much!  But yet we are focusing on the negatives in our life.  We can get so much FROM the day.  Motivation, drive, growth, opportunity, strength, desire, determination, confidence, discipline, patience, relationships, focus, love, health, energy, fun, and happiness!  These are just a few of the things we can get FROM the day.  I am running to promote this mindset.  I want to prove to people that positive living is the way to go and life gets better with this approach.  It doesn’t necessarily get easier but it does get better.  

This “LIMITLESS” mindset I am talking about is telling yourself, “Yes, I can”.  It’s truly, deep down believing you can accomplish your goals.  It’s ignoring the negativity that tries to break down your spirit, which then allows you to focus on the positives.  It allows optimal life.  It allows for more substantial and genuine relationships.  We create limitations in our life.  Whether it’s from other people’s negativity that hammers our subconscious or our own personal walls that we have allowed to develop in our life, these limitations ultimately stop us from reaching our full potential.  People talk themselves into quitting sometimes before they even start because they have allowed “I can’t” into their mind.  Once this thought enters the mind, you start believing it.  I say, “bust down those walls!”  I say, “you can!”  Break those self-imposed limitations and reach for the stars.  Will it be uncomfortable?  Absolutely.  Will it be hard?  Absolutely.  Will there be risk involved?  Absolutely.  But you will find a way with this Limitless lifestyle.

Reaching ultimate human potential is for all of us.  It’s not just for the physically gifted or the smartest; it can be for any individual who is ready to push pass the comfort zone.  As John Wooden has said many times, "Fail to prepare, prepare to fail."  This quote has changed my life.  Reaching this potential takes a considerate amount of preparation.  The willingness to commit to a goal and put forth full effort is the first step.  Once you have mentally committed you are now ready to design a plan to achieve the goal.  Is this plan perfect?  Absolutely not.  There will be bumps and obstacles in the road.  And how you handle these setbacks will define you as a person.  But when you are "ALL IN" and the deep determination persists you to move forward you will reach new heights by pushing through these obstacles.  
There is always anxiety doing something new and pushing past your previous limits.  Questions like, "How will my body hold up?"  "Will nagging injuries creep up?"  "What about my nutrition?"  These things were on my mind as we started our 3 day training camp.  I have never ran this much in a 3 day span.  But not once did "failure" or "I can't" come into my head.  I truly believed that I was going to succeed.  This is where mind control becomes powerful and a huge assistance to the accomplishment of your goals.  See, I have believed in myself and gone after certain goals for a really long time.  I have created a positive consciousness so when a task is laid in front of me, I automatically believe I can succeed.  It takes work and I still focus on this mindset daily but it is something that has been instilled in my life for a very long time.  The first step is to be fully aware of your thoughts.  Once you are aware you are more likely to act in a positive way.  If you want to create a belief system in yourself, then start focusing on everything positive in your life.  Try your best to eliminate self-doubts and negative thoughts.  These thoughts do not take you closer to this human potential we are talking about.  It just stagnates the process. 

Which leads to the next point...

Preparation is what is needed to be ready for an extreme endurance run of this nature (or anything that you are trying to achieve).  I was prepared for my 115 mile weekend.  Yes, I highlighted prepared because it's a strategy that is critical to being successful in anything you do.  Many people do not have the patience to allow the appropriate time to succeed at a specific task.  Sometimes I lose focus on the "patience is a virtue" mantra.  But I always come back to, "just keep going".  With long term work comes long term benefit.  I don't want fast acting, quick fix, band aide approach answers.  I want to instill positive habits into my life that will last forever.  And my goal is to teach and inspire others to create these positive behaviors in their life, to make for a better community.  
So here we are....42 days till I depart Visalia and run to Santa Monica.  This is the biggest endeavor I have ever aspired to achieve.  And it is going to take 100% full effort and motivation to accomplish.    As we count down the days, the energy will begin to escalate to new levels.  My training will continue.  I will be prepared to run 75 miles a day for 4 days.  And I will need all the support I can get. 
If you would like to get involved with our project, please contact me via email at justinlevine03@hotmail.com.  We have teamed up with The Leukemia and Lymphoma Foundation to help raise $20,000.  You can go to LIMITLESS and check out our website for more information.  


Past writings