Dedicated to exploring the culture of running while learning from mentors, icons and everyday explorers, and to sharing the most unique runs across the US and the globe! Join our movement as we learn together about what motivates us to discover more, about ourselves and the communities we run through... We will have a new featured guest or group each episode and invite you to message us on social media and share your favorite running stories! Dig deeper on our blogsite: https://www.runninganthropologist.com
The Power of Purpose & Pilgrimage
Welcome to episode #68, in the middle of the summer training season! It's hot, so here are a few of the topics discussed in this episode to keep you moving!
The podcast this month is primarily recorded from a talk after my recent recent run-walk pilgrimage in Portugal/Spain along the Camino de Santiago, and outlines how identifying our purpose can help us to have the courage and willingness to begin difficult things, grow and change, in all aspects of life. A few years ago, I set out to answer these questions as I started training in something which would transform the way I see the world: logotherapy. It is the psychology of purpose and meaning-making amidst difficulty. It is especially useful in recovery from past trauma, current suffering and addictions, and is part of many inter-religious chaplains' training.
The Power of Purpose
Many of us have goals and dreams, and maybe even good habits to make them happen. However, research has shown that life purpose and values are much more a director of our actions than these arbitrary goals we set, and our latent higher purpose determines many of our daily habits. In other words, we will live out the actions and attitude that we purposefully choose.
The Ultimate Goal of Recovery and Logotherapy
When we consider our purpose, those on the path of recovery often understand the 12th step as asking, "How can I love fully and be of maximum service to others?", which forms part of our life purpose. However, each person does so in unique ways that only they are capable of, based upon their life experience and values. Some reflection and coaching/guidance from another may be useful in doing so. I have found I'm never disappointed by the results; as a logotherapist, in my coaching, running, teaching and family life. I would love to share this with you...
If you'd like to learn more, please navigate to my Insight Timer Teacher Page https://insighttimer.com/laneholbert, where I have a 3-part course on logotherapy, recovery meditations, and several short Guided Meditations for Runners.
I also invite you to join our Running Anthropologist and Recovery Camino fellowship online www.runninganthropologist.com OR @runninganthropologist on IG/Facebook.
And to check out LIKE THE WIND magazine, "Why We Run", which I like to call the national geographic of running, with photos and stories from across the globe. Our pilgrimage was featured in this upcoming issue #32! www.likethewindmagazine.com
Happy Running & Look forward to seeing you soon along "the way"!
- Mark Lane-Holbert
Mindful Movement & our Chi, with Dr. Larry Cammarata
How can I cultivate and balance energy in my running, and in life? What is mindful running? What is the difference between Tai Chi, Qigong, and other martial arts? All these questions and much more are answered in this interview conducted between Tampa, Florida and Ponte de Lima, Portugal- shortly after our chance meeting while I was on pilgrimage along the "Camino de Santiago". For more about that, listen to upcoming and past episodes on the Camino!
Dr. Larry Cammarata is a self-described "Chi Runner" and Mindful Movement Teacher, which means he applies the eastern traditional concepts of chi energy work to his running, notably techniques of relaxation and energy balance to injury-free running, developed by Danny and Katherine Dreyer. He knows eastern traditions of wellness, and is in fact an instructor of Tai Chi Chuan and Qigong, and has received advanced training in these arts, as well as being a practitioner over the past several decades. In our conversation, we discuss mindfulness practices and the joy of running in the classic methodology of Danny Dreyer, Chi Running, which is described as "a revolutionary approach to effortless, injury free running". Perhaps not completely effortless or now completely new, this method relaxes the body and allows the energy to flow in such a way that posture and mindful movement align, breathing is integrated with ease, and there is overall less stress on the body.
"Mindfulness" has been used much more often in practical ways throughout society in recent years, and applied to many facets of life. Larry is on the peaceful edge of this work, and is encouraged by the movement to slow down and bring awareness to our daily practices, including running, something he fosters in his work and life. He and his wife Linda (RN, RYT) are a dynamic team who also happen to run mindfulness retreats exploring different cultures and places across the globe: www.mindfulnesstravels.com - In his work as a licensed psychologist who specializes in mindfulness-based therapy and education, he includes the science and practice of mindful movement!
If you would like to know more about the above retreats or his ongoing travels and running adventures, Larry welcomes you to reach out through his own website, or link to all the methodologies and info we discuss at the Running Anthropologist blogsite: www.runninganthropologist.com
You can also message or follow us @RunningAntropologist on Instagram and Facebook!
Gretchen Schoenstein, on Autoimmunity & 100 Half Marathons
Gretchen Schoenstein has dealt with autoimmune disease questions regularly, and many more, during her battle with several autoimmune disorders in her running lifetime, including one which attacks her lungs. The diagnoses she has received would normally mean an end to distance running, and truth be told she heard this from doctors... However, having a purpose to run 100 half marathons and give back to autoimmune disease research was a worthy enough goal to keep her running, even during the pandemic. And spoiler alert: she made it, just under her 10 year goal! She did so on her own schedule and with the support of an intentional village she has built, and also with intention in every mile.
However, remarkably this is not the most impressive part of Gretchen's life or Gretchen as a person, rather it's her attitude and gratitude which shine through in every word, as she recounts stories and life lessons during this lifelong battle. It is as if running were the tap through which this force de vivre lives and shines, rather than "the answer". In our conversation, we examine how perhaps running is best as a catalyst for community, strength and purpose building, i.e. finding out what running can teach us about life, and vice versa. It has been part of the solution, for her and for me. Among the best interviews I have done at Running Anthropologist, she demonstrates what it means to truly be grateful for each step and each breath, with her mantra "Every mile, every step, counts". She has so many good ones. Below are just a sample of what she shares in the episode.
1) Have grace for yourself. Best way to do so? Pause and breathe.
2) Have a light, nimble touch on goals - know that you can pivot when need to.
3) Every. Step. Counts. (as does every mile) With each step is the possibility of joy and awe.
4) Listen to your body - *you* know best. Find that voice that tells you when to push and when to let off the gas.
5) Create your own finish lines - set smaller goals to achieve to keep the momentum going.
Last but not least, there is a worthy cause. She has both fundraised and raised awareness around autoimmune disease and autoimmune system disorders this entire journey, for "Operation Shooting Star" and "Benaroya Research Institute", who are on the cutting edge of treating, research and hopeful for the future of curing autoimmune diseases. Links to both of these organizations, and all the organizations and sponsors mentioned in the podcast can be found below under "services", provided directly by Gretchen (bottom of page).
Gretchen can also be found on her IG account @rungrateful
To read more about fundraising/awareness building efforts specifically and about her struggle and story of finishing an unexpected 100 half marathons journey, I encourage you to go to check out article:
Please find more links to all resources mentioned at our blogsite: www.runninganthropologist.com
As always, Message us @runninganthropologist on Facebook or Instagram with ideas, inspiration and input!
Achilles International, with Ellie Cox-Nihill
In this episode we discuss all things Achilles with US Chapters Development Director Eleanor Cox-Nihill, and she shared magical stories: including their work with athletes of all abilities, empowering athletes with disabilities and supporting relationships between individuals. Ellie has been in many positions with Achilles, including her start as a volunteer local club member guiding an athlete from Central Park in NYC! Both participants learn and grow as a result of these partnerships, athletes and volunteer guides (also athletes themselves). The magic begins is in the local clubs, the practice, hard work and fun together throughout the year building up to a major event, like NYC Marathon, Boston Marathon, local races or Disney!
Ellie has a great deal to share too, as she has been with the organization since 2008, and since 2011 was in charge of US Chapters development and the online virtual clubs who meet for those who do not have local chapters. I am the direct beneficiary of this new virtual space, and connect with athletes from across the country learning to run through a training program, and inspiring one another. I might add that volunteers learn as much if not more from the experience, and as anyone who has been a guide will tell you: it transforms their run/walking and their relationship with the sport.
Ellie also shares about the history of Achilles, how she became inspired by her local New York City chapter, and what she has learned along the way supporting athletes for over a decade, thru events many dream of completing. What some thought was unimaginable are empowered to line up toe to toe with the elite athletes of the world, and learn from each other, overcoming challenges and sharing joy and hope! This success is carried through into everyday life and challenges faced therein with renewed confidence; Everyone has their own “Achilles” to cope with in life, and the parallels are not lost by Ellie in this interview. This episode is special as Achilles bids her a gradual fond farewell as she retires from her full time position this spring, and we know her legacy and positivity will carry forward to many!
Among the many resources mentioned in the podcast, one can learn more, find out how to get involved, or contribute at www.achillesinternational.org ———Below are the essentials, at a glance about their mission and programs:
“Achilles International, a global organization operating in 18 countries including the US, transforms the lives of people with disabilities through athletic programs and social connection. Since our founding in 1983, we have empowered over 150,000 athletes of all ages and ability levels to participate in endurance events around the globe.”
Reach out to us with questions or share your own stories of running culture and inspiration, at our blogsite: www.RunningAnthropologist.com - or on Facebook or Instagram @runninganthropologist
Ukraine Checkin, with Eugen “Jimmy” Godun
In this episode, we interview a prominent marathoner and coach in the Ukrainian running community, Eugen Godun. He is from Kharkiv (recently taken over by the Russian army) and his current hometown of the last 2 years is Kyiv, which is currently under siege with the entire world hanging on edge. As might be expected, we talk less about running, and more about what things have been like this pat week for him, his family and friends. We get a pulse for the thoughts of Ukrainians right now, discuss the challenges of balancing one's family safety with the desire to fight back against unbelievable odds (a powerful and mostly uninformed Russia due to lack of press freedom under the de facto dictatorship of Putin).
Did we mention Eugen is an incredibly talented runner and supports other aspiring runners throughout the region? He has run the Kharkiv marathon and multiple long distance events across Ukraine (Sumy, Poltava, Odesa and Kyiv), along with 5 of the world majors and was slated to be in Boston a month from now, but this future is uncertain due to the current situation in his home country.
We in the running community from all I know are praying for a peaceful solution, yet are realistic that autocracies seldom yield to the welfare of others, and the rights of those they believe they can control. History has proven otherwise, and we would encourage anyone to work towards helping the autonomous people of Ukraine to again prevail, have the right to determine their own destiny, and suffer as little as possible in that quest. Here are some causes / things you can do RIGHT NOW to help, in an article published by NPR: https://www.npr.org/2022/02/25/1082992947/ukraine-support-help
You can also stay up to date on everything happening in Eastern Europe via New York Times Live Updates. and make comments/post questions here. Feel free to share with us also, or reach out on our social media @runninganthropolgist. Our hearts go out to all those suffering needlessly. May peace come quickly!
You can find this episode just about anywhere you find podcasts, including Apple, Google, & Spotify Apps. Follow/ Message us @RunningAnthropologist on Instagram or Facebook. Or www.runninganthropologist.com for more on this and all our episodes, on the culture of running!
You can also find Eugen Godun @jimmy_marathon on Instagram, and follow his runs on Strava.
50 Marathons, 50 States- with Georges Gonzalez & Jonathan Rushnak
Georges Gonzalez and Jonathan Rushnak admit they were unlikely candidates to take on this life-changing challenge, but made magic together in their lifetime achievement this past January, as they completed their 50th marathon across 50 states in the U.S.! This began as a pipe dream 7 years ago, and thousands of miles ago (on feet and in the air traveling!).
In this episode, we spend a great deal of time discussing the HOW and WHY behind such an attempt, including the communities that supported them, and the contribution it has made to their lives overall. They also give us their "tops lists" for unique marathons, marathons harboring hidden gems of culture, most challenging marathons, and most surprising, among others!
You may be surprised by the "lessons learned" portion of our talk as well, which includes tips and tricks for the 50 states challenge, but also planning and destination races in general. Some of the resources we discuss are: the 50 states club Facebook Group, the official entry process (only after completing 10 races), the process they went through deciding which marathons to run, and how to organize them around a yearly calendar to not go crazy or suffer injury.
You can hear the joy and gratitude in their voices, and at times the emotions that accompany a heart-changing race such as the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, DC. While such a challenge is not for the faint of heart, it should also not be mistaken to be only for an "elite" or expert runners experience, as they admit at the beginning of it (at least Georges) did not even consider himself marathon material and had to be talked into his first. A decade ago, he would quip "I am not a runner", and now has much evidence to the contrary...
To learn more about each marathon on their list and explore what each has to offer (and IF they are being run during the ongoing pandemic, restrictions, etc.) you will have to visit their websites! Explore all of their marathons in a list at our website: www.runninganthropologist.com
You can also explore Georges and Jonathan's recommended 50 States facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/74142960795/
Note: There is also a Half Marathon 50 States challenge group! That being said, in order to join/apply for either, see rules or officially become a member of the 50 States Marathon Club, you'll have to go to the 50 States Marathon Club website: http://www.50statesmarathonclub.com
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