My “WHY”. Why I never thought about quitting my 100…

Did it hurt?

Hell Yeah it did.

Was I trained well?

Hell No…

Should I have finished?

Not a chance.

So how did I find it inside to push through and finish 100 miles?

My “Why”.

I talk a lot about my “why”. Why do I do what I do. Why do I push myself to the edge and then take the next step? Why don’t I give up? What keeps me motivated day in and day out? How do I stay up late and wake up early?

I want you to imagine pulling a car up hill with a rope.

Got it?

Now I want you to imagine pushing a car uphill with a rope.

Most people are trying to push a car uphill with a rope… How effective is that??!! Not very, right?

My “why” is like PULLING a car up the hill. It’s hard, but no impossible. My “why” isn’t about me or my accomplishments. It’s about other people.

I did some cool things. I lost a bunch of weight. I run a lot. Who really cares though?? I knew I could never be a swimsuit model, nor would that have motivated me. I lost weight to get healthy so I could stay active with my kids. I was tired of being tired. I wanted to have the energy to sustain the personalitly I knew I had, but was afraid to unleash.

My “why” has slowly evolved over the years because I found something inside of me that I didn’t know existed. I found out that I was changing people’s lives. People don’t care that I can run far. I’m at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to ultra runners. I’m slow, I don’t look like a runner, and really who is crazy enough to run for fun anyway? 

People do care that I can run far after overcoming adversity. People do see value in the fact that I started at 400 pounds and have made the changes needed to become a 100 mile finisher.

So when people ask me why I do what I do it’s because I see people find hope. They see hope that they can change their lives. They can get healthy. People don’t care about running 100 miles, but they do see the fact that if they were to change their mind, it IS POSSIBLE because I have shown through my actions.

My “why” is you. Yes, I am out to prove to myself that I can do it, but I already know that. I can already see what I’m capable of if I take the right action. I’m out to prove it to others though. It’s not about showing off, it’s about giving hope. It’s about showing how far you can go with a walk around the block. It’s about showing how that first step is the most important. It’s about showing that ANYONE can do it. I couldn’t have given up or quit for this reason. I wouldn’t have been giving up in myself. I would have been giving up on the thousands of people I am going to inspire to change their life.

I would not have failed myself because I know I would have gotten up again and put in more effort next time. But the people that see failure as an end result rather than a stumbling block may not have understood… I needed to finish and my “why” ended up pulling me up the hill with a rope. There was no quitting. There was no stopping. There was no other way to conclude my race.

Yes it hurt physically.

Yes it hurt mentally.

But nothing would have been as bad as quitting because running 100 miles was never about me. Running 100 miles was about proving to others that anything is possible if you’re willing to take the first step out your door and commit to yourself that no matter what happens, no matter how bad things get, no matter how hard your own personal journey becomes, IT’S POSSIBLE if you’re willing to take the first step.

Find your “why” and make it bigger than yourself. Once you make a commitment, never stop moving forward…

Run Epic my friends.

Published by Gary Stotler

Gary Stotler is a father, running, fitness, weight loss and personal development addict. Formally 400 pounds, Gary has naturally lost 200 pounds, created a coaching & speaking business and has become a 100 mile ultra-runner. Holding a degree in Psychology & Sociology, certifications from the National Academy of Sports Medicine as a personal trainer, mindset & behavioral modification coaching, a certification in DISC personality assessment coaching and he is a certified speaker, coach & mentor with the John Maxwell Team. Gary firmly believes, if we take One Step at a Time, nothing is impossible. He is determined to let his actions show people what is possible and hopes to help you shake up your thoughts, change your actions and create your future.

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  1. Gary,

    Thanks for the insight which is truly inspiring. I applaud you and the tremendous changes you have made. I am inspired by you being that I have been a runner all of my life and was pretty decent in my early 20’s thirty years ago and then gained a lot of weight and still struggle with weight and motivation. I was terrified of the Marathon distance until I inspired myself to inspire my son to run a marathon with me before I hit fifty and that was three years ago. At this point I have completed four marathons, the America’s discovery trail marathon , my first and fastest since I really didn’t know what to expect and somehow just dumbly made it through and felt good, then I completed the Revel Denver Marathon and the Colfax Marathon twice. This years Colfax will be my fifth Marathon in the past four years. I believe I have done the best training yet for this year and still am concerned about the unknown and how I am going to handle the desire to give up when I get really tired. this article and your example will be on my mind at when those moments come and I will use you to pull me along, thank you sir from an old guy who runs slow and does not look like a runner but will keep running for as long as I can. You rock sir and thanks for the inspiration.


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