March 6, 2022
It’s a good time to think about the “Big Why” of this project. You know, before it takes off and I get all wrapped up in podcast appearances and interviews for probing, but generous national feature stories.
Author and Ted Talker Simon Sinek hangs his hat on this thing called the “golden circle.” The idea is that, when undertaking just about any venture (and especially when communicating it to others) a person should start with why.
What Last Chance Running is (content that support an idea) and how it gets seen (marketing) must serve the why. Otherwise, the whole thing falls flat, wanders, or comes off wrong. So, here’s what some early navel gazing has clarified…
Why #1: My experiences, observations, and perspectives could benefit others.
Mr. Rogers encouraged my generation to believe every person is *gasp* special. I carried this optimism into early adulthood before a kind of “differentiated sameness” settled in, which was all about asserting uniqueness through appearances, while quieting anything that felt too vulnerable or real. A person living in this conflicted state might be vulnerable to alcohol taking hold. I was, and it did.
Getting clear of alcohol has allowed childlike possibility to re-enter the chat. I’m considering the uniqueness (and relatability) of my life experience and how it might help others. Running and booze used to be foundational in my life. Now it’s running and recovery. Anyway, I’m pretty sure there are more people like me, and I’m hoping the stuff I share will reach a few of them.
Why #2: Running and sobriety are a creative superteam. The world needs to know.
Alcoholics like me have expended a lot of energy breaking things (trust, relationships, our own spirits). Recovery is the process of healing those fractures, forming tight bonds and the foundation of something new, vibrant, and vital. Runners, too, “tear it down to build it up,” shredding muscle fibers and depleting the body’s energy stores so they might bounce back fitter.
Bottom line: Running and sobriety are creative acts, builders of strength, spirit, and soul. When they’re combined, something extraordinary happens. Last Chance Running will try to deconstruct that special sauce, because the world needs as much creative energy as we all can muster.
Why #3: It’s going to benefit me, too.
I’m into serving the greater good, but this isn’t a selfless project. Catharsis is a big motivator. Even these early stages of thinking and journaling and website building have been self-soothing and enlightening. Meanwhile, the running I’m doing is taking on deeper meaning as it becomes more connected with my recovery, and with this project.
Have you ever experienced a time when everything you heard, read, or saw seemed to relate to an area of singular focus in your life? That’s where I’m at with Last Chance. The universe seems to lighting a path, stoking the fire. the This feeling of inevitability, while impermanent, is affirming. People need affirmation, and I’m a people, so… You do the math.
That’s it. Those are the “Big Why’s.” I believe I have value to offer, and the creative process of realizing it will help others, and also inform my own journey. Without trying to steer or control what Last Chance Running could be, I do see something beautiful emerging.
Thanks for following along as we discover what it is.