One of my favourite podcasts is the Tim Ferriss Show. Among the many things Tim is successful at in addition to a podcast host, is being an author. Of his books, there is one called Tribe of Mentors: Short life advice from the best in the world, presumably about life advice that is short rather than advice about living a short life. It is based on answers to 11 really good questions that Tim needed to answer for himself at one point in his life, and of which he asked some people who he most admired to see what they would say so he could learn from the best. A sample can be heard in this podcast episode link, along with more about the questions and their sequence.
Personally, I love good, thoughtful and/or philosophical questions that are useful and not just theoretical. So in addition to reading and listening to answers from the book to learn, I thought I’d give them a try first. From answers I will give, I will analyze to see what I didn’t like, or which I thought I could improve on, to see if I can obtain a better answer some time over the next few years, decade, or even some point in the rest of my life. That’s because these questions aren’t just useless and/or silly thought experiments. No. A good answer for any one of these questions can really make a difference in one’s life, even if it wouldn’t always be some grand, life altering kind, though a few might be. At the least, I will end up with a great story for each answer. So on with the fifth post in this series and Tim’s Question #5.
5. What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made? (Could be an investment of money, time, energy, etc.)
This one is an easy answer for me, and that is distance running. Back in the winter months of early 1997, I followed my #1 life philosophy to give myself a chance at learning how to do and enjoy distance running. and paid to join a YMCA program called the Vancouver Sun Run training, for the city’s huge annual 10k run in April. I was not someone you would call athletic, and my financial situation suggested paying for such entertainment wasn’t the best use of my money. However, I didn’t want to wait until the next year, and it’s been an amazing journey with running ever since. Among the markers are:
- I completed the 10K and came back for more.
- I volunteered as a pacer and trainer for the same program a few years later.
- I’ve gone on to complete 34 marathons, qualifying for Boston and running it as well.
- I’ve won a few distance team relay legs, including my most epic race in a gradual come from behind run ending with sprint to the finish.
- I became a varsity athlete in my 30s as a walk-on to a very good cross-country team.
- I have made many life long friends and uncountable number of amazing experiences and memories, including being in a viral video for racing the bus… and winning! The Facebook version actually has a lot more views than the YouTube one!
- I am much healthier today for it all, physically and mentally, still running and training with high quality coaches and athletes who share their passions rather than charge money for it.
- I can say so much more about how positive running has been for me in my life!
Distance running is enough of me that I’m not sure anyone thinks of me without it. While it is hardly the single, or single most dominant thing I do in my life like many running friends I have had in the past, for most people I know, it’s the thing they associate with me most. I can’t shake it from my if I tried, in other words, and I doubt I would be even if I had to stop!
For all those reasons, my investments of some money, especially that initial amount, and obviously tons of time and energy over the years training and racing, are the best investments I have ever made in anything.
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