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What is it that drives you? 

What gives you that sense of determination in your life?

I just saw that comedian and actor Eddie Izzard has run 27 marathons in 27 days, actually doubling up on the last day because of a rest day he was forced to take half way through his 27 days. Something that may go unnoticed to most people just seeing this headline/story today is that in 2009 he completed 43 marathons in just 51 days…

This gets me pretty excited to see him do this, maybe it’s because i’m 41 and trying to reach some pretty lofty goals myself over this coming year. It fuels me in a huge way and if I wasn’t really a fan of his before I am now.

Mr. Izzard says he chose 27 in 27 days to bring light to Nelson Mandela’s time in prison in South Africa. Speaking of Mandela, I’m reminded of this poem by William Henley that he has historically been cited as using to keep himself and other inmates sane during his 27 year incarceration. Which mind you, his “imprisonment” was what we would call “solitary confinement” here in the US. It has been said that he was allowed 1 day and 1 letter a year for communication with the outside world.

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.

William Ernest Henley

I think of the unbelievable mental aspect to what Eddie Izzard has just accomplished. The mental strength you have to have in order to get through one marathon, much less 27 and to end with 2 in one day…

I want some of that.

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