Think Daily Messages

February 22, 2018

Age of Miracles

Larry Janesky: Think Daily

Some books just resonate with me totally. Today, I offer a quote by Marianne Williamson, one of my favorites, directly from her book “Age of Miracles.”

“It is your thoughts and your thoughts alone that determine what’s possible for you now. It’s time to proactively reach beyond any predetermined formulas you or anyone else might have for ‘what’s possible’ at this time in your life. No matter what did or did not happen in your past, the present remains an endless fount of miraculous opportunities – the law of divine compensation guarantees that.

‘Endless possibility’ is not just an abstraction; it is a yearning of the universe, an active force of constant and infinite elasticity. It responds not only to your past but to your present state of mind.

It’s not what happened in your life so far that has the power to determine your future.  It’s how you interpret what’s happened, and learn from what’s happened, that sets the course for your probable tomorrows.

Life doesn’t always, or even usually, move in a consistently rising arc of progress.”

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February 21, 2018

Being vigilant about freedom

Larry Janesky: Think Daily

Just because freedom is a natural right as defined by our founders, doesn’t mean it’s guaranteed. We must be vigilant in protecting it.

Free speech is one area we must pay attention to. Is it more important that we be able to say whatever we want, or that nobody says anything that offends us?

If anyone can say “I am offended,” then the definition is subject to anyone’s interpretation; thus anyone can silence anyone. If we should be free to speak ourselves, then we must know that some will say things that we find offensive – or just plain rude, ignorant, stupid, and nonsensical. Should people be offensive or rude? No. But censoring speech is too high a personal price to pay.

Let’s protect free speech. 

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February 20, 2018

Being a good neighbor

Larry Janesky: Think Daily

If you want to live in a good neighborhood, first you have to be a good neighbor.

Would your neighbors say you were a good neighbor?  

Why?

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February 19, 2018

Sow, Reap

Larry Janesky: Think Daily

Cause, effect.

There is always a relationship between responsibilities and benefits.  If you don’t plant, you don’t harvest.

You can tell what someone has been sowing, by looking at their relationships, income, and self-esteem.

How about you?

 

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February 16, 2018

What do YOU want to achieve?

Larry Janesky: Think Daily

To understand someone, however young they may be, we can look at what they want to achieve and how willing they are to pay the price to get it. Desire is the starting point of all achievement. Those with strong ambition and corresponding determination will bring forth what they want in the world. With no ambitions and no self-discipline, a person will not do much.  

So – what do YOU clearly desire and are willing to pay the price to get?

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February 15, 2018

We're getting better all the time

Larry Janesky: Think Daily

2017 was the best year in human history. Fewer people were hungry, impoverished or illiterate. Fewer children died than ever. Every day the number of people living around the world on less than $2 a day goes down by 217,000. Every day 325,000 more people get electricity and 300,000 get clean drinking water.

As recently as 1960, the majority of humans had always been illiterate and in extreme poverty. It was the norm. Now fewer than 15% are illiterate and less than 10% live in extreme poverty. In 15 years, both will mostly be gone. After thousands of years, they are pretty much disappearing on our watch.

I feel great about that and lucky to be alive as it is happening.

How about you?

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February 14, 2018

I pick up trash

Larry Janesky: Think Daily

Litter drives me nuts. I could ignore it like everyone else. But I just can’t. So, once in a while, I’ll stop my truck and get out with a few garbage bags and walk along 1/4 mile on one side, cross the road and walk back to fill them up. It’s mostly beer cans and bottles, but there are coffee cups and booze bottles and all kinds of garbage.

I used to be angry – at the jerks who are throwing stuff out the window, and that I have to do this, and that nobody else does. All those ideas are certainly valid. But being angry is only hurting me. Instead, I just own it. It only takes 30 minutes on a weekend, and I do it when I have some open time. I listen to a podcast or audiobook when I’m out there, and I am getting some light exercise. (Watch out for the prickers!)

I just see it as me taking responsibility for what needs to be done in my community. When I drive along the road for the next few months, I take pride in the section I cleaned, and I feel good.

I have made a big change in how I think about cleaning up trash on the side of the road, and it made it a lot easier for me. 

It may not be easy at first, but we can always choose our attitude. 

What’s your thing?

 

 

 

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February 13, 2018

Court the Angels

Larry Janesky: Think Daily

I believe there is a big bank account in the sky. Every time you do something good, especially for others, you make a deposit. Every time you do something bad, you make a withdrawal. 

In either case, it doesn’t matter if anyone is watching. It all counts.

So, when nobody is looking, I sometimes do something good that nobody knows about except me. Will it buy me some protection or goodwill or luck another time or when I need it?  

In my experience – yes.

How about you?

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February 12, 2018

Failed attempts to fly

Larry Janesky: Think Daily

I am struggling now. Three o’clock pm. The heat. The course drops into a dry river wash with deep sand with embedded boulders. Tree branches hang over from the left and right as the course winds like a snake. Great effort is required.

Some riders are taken to the hospital by their crews for dehydration.

I begin to see trash on the left. That’s good. I was going to meet my crew at the Loreto Dump at mile 831. Keep going. Finally, I see a dirt lot with chase vehicles. I see both white vans. Mercy.

I pull up and surrender the bike to them. I slowly survey my pinky. It’s not broken. I feel hotter now that I am stopped. Tanner holds an umbrella over me to shield the sun. I sit down. I am overheated again. Worn down. Fatigued. 

I knew I had a big decision to make, and my team knew it too. We didn’t talk about it for a while.

I got up and studied the map on my GPS. I watched dust trails of buggies going by. I knew there was a huge rocky hill climb nearby, and I knew there was a paved road section where the spillways were. It was eight miles before the pavement though. If I could make it eight miles, I could coast the pavement without using much energy. But then the party would be over as there would be more rocky river crossings and 70 miles of sand whoops.

The next time I’d see my van was in 122 miles. That was very far. In my condition, that was very very far. It would get dark for the third time.

My bike on the stand, I stood alongside it and studied the GPS, and then looked to the horizon. Could this be it? I prepared for a year. Has it all come down to this time and this place? Tanner held the umbrella over me and knew the thought I was struggling with. Nobody influenced me. If I wanted to go on, they’d rally around me. If I didn’t, they’d do the same. 

They waited…

My body had precious little left. I didn’t want to sit up straight or stand without leaning on something. The thought of riding even eight more miles to get to ten miles of pavement was daunting. 122 miles to see the van again? That was not smart. There was no way to finish in the 48-hour time limit now, and getting lost on my crew was not going to gain anyone anything.

I gazed at the nearby mountains. Last year I got to mile 600. The last two years the course was 822 miles and 855 miles respectively. I was standing at 831. Now I knew I could go this far. There was something satisfying in that.

I had raced for 37-1/2 hours and I would be awake for 42 hours. I had faced the wall yet again. This time, I was better, stronger, smarter. That’s what these attempts had done to me.

Why do I tell you this story? My personal mission statement is “an extraordinary life of shared experiences.” I’m no different than anyone else. I struggle. I search. If I have done anything right, if I have discovered anything about myself and therefore all human experience, my wish is to share and inspire and empower as many others as possible. Heaven knows I have learned so much from other people – those that have come before me and my contemporaries. If I can be part of the chain of people who pass on the human instruction manual to a fulfilling high-performance life, I am eager to do my part.

Emotion welling up inside me and my voice cracking, I softly admitted to my son, “I’m done.”

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February 9, 2018

The Gauntlet

Larry Janesky: Think Daily

The course wound left and right and left and right. Ruts from the four-wheeled vehicles dominated the path – one on the right and one on the left. These ruts were 12” to 18” deep. This means there was a hard berm in the middle as high, and the shoulders of the course were that high too. Up on the shoulder were cactus and hostile brush, often hanging over the course.

A motorcycle needs to lean to turn. If you are in the right rut, you can turn left ok because you lean over the middle of the course. But after every left, there is a right turn. Now you are in the wrong rut because you have to lean toward the shoulder and cactus of every variety, like Stegosaurus tails, preventing you from leaning that way. You had to jump the berm to get in the outside rut. This was no easy feat in many places. You’d get your front wheel up the berm and falling into the opposite rut, while your rear wheel tracked the old rut. With great skill, you can be successful most of the time. But a 99.9 percent success ratio had me crashing three times – once pretty hard.

It was a crash I knew I would have avoided had I been fresh. When I went to pick up my bike, I knew my strength was waning. The front wheel was up on the high shoulder against a tree. The rear wheel far lower down in a deep silty rut. I stood alongside the bike and heaved it up. When I got it vertical, I dropped my helmet down on the seat and tried to catch my breath out of the 100-degree air that was filled with my own dust. Sweat stung my eyes inside my goggles.

Around here, Jeff Benrud crashed in the silt and the handlebars slammed his knee brace. He thought he had broken his leg.

There were miles of this kind of road. No civilian vehicle could ever make it through. I’m fighting for every 100 yards now…and I have hundreds of miles to go.

I remounted and got out of my awkward position before any truck or buggy ran me over. I had water, and I was grateful for it now. I had learned a trick from one of the other guys. When you reach for your hydration tube hanging over your shoulder, the first swig is as hot as the air. But when you are done drinking, if you blow the fluid back into the bladder it stays cool on your back.

I push on. I am proud of my performance because no one part of my body gave up before other parts. I wore down evenly. But now, all parts were diminishing.

The course crossed a rocky riverbed. I pulled over and got off. Just for a couple minutes. A buggy approaches and storms by.

Rick Thornton, my pre-run buddy, got Rhabdomyolysis – a condition caused by extreme physical exercise where the muscles break down and result in clogging the kidneys. Rick saw yellow like he was looking into the sun. He withdrew from the race and was taken to the hospital.

The course opens up wider and turns left. I look ahead and I’m astonished. I knew this area would be silty from looking at it during pre-running. But this was sheer mass destruction. From a barbed wire fence on the left, 150 yards wide to a line of trees and pipe organ cactus on the right, it is a sea of silt. When a vehicle sees silt ruts, the best option is to take a virgin line around it. When everyone does that, there are no virgin lines left. They take existing lines and take their chances. Mash the gas pedal down and don’t stop. There are dig holes where race vehicles have been stuck. It looks like a trench warfare zone.

I study the scene and figure out the best strategy. I choose extreme left along the barbed wire fence. I jump over a big sewer pipe to get there – only to find it was as deep and shot as the field. I have little choice now that I am in it and cut across the whole field of deep ruts to go extreme right. I make it, and go what may have seemed off course, picking my way very slowly through the cactus trees – anything to avoid the motorcycle eating landscape to my left.

I judge when the landscape must have changed and emerge from the desert “forest” and re-engage with the course. This is real work now. The course has more gauntlets coming. A steep hill climb – narrow and twisty. More silt ruts. I recall why I hated this section so much.

Then the course drops into a rocky riverbed – not to cross, but to follow. Bowling ball size rocks, and nothing but them (no dirt) tests a motorcycle. Bump, bump, bump, bump – forever. Two men are standing ahead on course. Something’s up. As I approach, they point to the right, and up. I turn to follow the course and immediately go up a very steep hill climb hidden in the trees. It’s very steep and very long and twists and turns. Do I have the energy for this?

Back down as steep as it went up, and back into the riverbed. More variation. I see an Ironman bike and rider taking a break on the side of the riverbed. I keep going. 

In a right turn, I catch my right pinky on a branch that had been sawn off, and it rips it back. It felt broken, but I didn’t want to stop and look. My glove was ripped, and blood soaked through. There’s nothing I could do. I don’t really need a pinky to ride. Keep going.

I am struggling now…

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