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TEAMWORK: It takes a village

Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much. - Helen Keller
I am always amazed at the ingenuity and communal nature of human beings.  Whether we work like ants to build pyramids, construct railroads across a continent or help a single person take 6 million steps to run across America, there is strength in numbers.
Earlier this week I was asked to speak about how ultra-running and my run across America was really a team effort.  For me it was very easy to deliver this message, because my decade long career at GE had taught me that a team of people can move mountains.  The following are some thoughts to be considered when building and developing teams for longevity.
BUILDING THE TEAM It is art, not science.
1.  Leadership  For teams to function effectively, there must be leadership.  The team will eventually confront challenges and need to make decisions.  Sometimes these decisions can be made by a vote; other times, a leader will need to make the decision for the team.  A leader of …

A LESSON IN VULNERABILITY, TRUST AND CONNECTION: Running blindfolded for the first time

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When we choose to trust another with our vulnerability, we choose to connect - Jason Romero

I have a degernative eye condition (retinitis pigmentosa - RP) which has caused me to become legally blind.  I have 20/200-400 acuity, I see through a tunnel of about 15 degrees and I have night blindness.  At some point, the medical professionals say that my retina will completely deteriorate and I will have no light perception.
I am fearful of losing light perception.  I'm scared of the dark now - I often wonder how I will feel when my eyes can no longer perceive light.  I know running is important to me, and I want to continue this activity if my eyes get to a point where I can no longer perceive light.  There will be another big change for my running when this happens....I will need to recruit a guide to help me run.  I have never relied 100% on a guide for eyesight.  A couple weeks ago, I decided to do an experiment and run a race blindfolded.  There are 3 parts to this blog - 1. my guide&…

THE SUCCESS CYCLE: The reason why All Things are Possible!

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When confronted with Adversity we must Adapt, and sometimes fail, to Achieve success - Jason Romero
The following is an excerpt from a Keynote Address that I recently gave to an organization.  After careful analyzation of my life, successes & failures, my blindness & my run across America, I have developed a theory of how we can succeed, in all things we set out to do.  This concept is incorporated into my talks, will be the subject of a chapter in a book I am authoring, and I believe is a universal truth.  Please share it freely, and I hope it can help you to succeed in life.  (click the image to view the video blog in YouTube).
ONWARD!

Click HERE to read about Mental Toughness Principles.
Jason Romero is a highly sought after inspirational speaker and the 1st and only blind person to run across America.  Jason is a member of the US Paralympic Team, holds 11 world records in ultra-running, a former attorney and business executive, and a single father of 3 children.  More informati…

MENTAL TOUGHNESS: The Romero Way

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The mind will quit before the body will quit. - Arnold Schwarzenegger
I have read a lot on mental toughness.  I've heard of people who have studied it.  I've heard people talk about it.  Below is what I learned about mental toughness, during my run across America.

First, as with all things in life, we have been given "free will."  That means we have the ability to make choices.  When mental toughness is required or triggered, the environment has usually become extremely uncomfortable.  The "mental toughness" question them becomes simply stated as follows:

1. Continue on, and endure more suffering, discomfort and pain. OR 2. Quit, and have the suffering stop, and the discomfort and pain will recede and fade away.
We then interpret mental toughness to be measured by whether we choose "1" (mentally tough) or "2" (not mentally tough).

For 60 days non-stop during 2016 I was confronted with this choice of "1 or 2".  After having had time…

VISIONRUNUSA Series (6): That nasty 4-letter word

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When I first told people that I was going to run across America, I received an onslaught of people using the 4-letter word that I dislike the most . . . yes, you guessed it - - - they used the "C" word.

CAN'T I absolutely abhor that word.  It should be eradicated from the English language . . . and' I'm not even sure it is a word.  I discussed the word in the movie Running Vision . . . there, I explained that when people say "can't", "they have given up before they have even tried."
Well, I believe I CAN, and YOU CAN too.
Regarding VISIONRUNUSA, I want to give an example of some of the "can't" statements I heard:
- You can't just stop life for 2 months - You can't leave your kids, you'll lose your parenting time - You can't afford the run - You can't run 50 miles a day - You can't run on highways - You can't do it - You can't do this without a major sponsor - You can't do this without gett…

VISIONRUNUSA Series (5): Efficient Running Form

There has been so much written on running technique, stride and gait.  Some folks will tell you their way is the only way.  Some will suggest that there are different techniques for different body types.  I am not here to suggest a specific form is correct over another form.  In fact, I have seen many different types of running forms that are successful.  Take for example, the amazing Emil Zatopek ("The Czech Locomotive") who won 3 gold medals in the 1952 Olympics.  when he ran he looked like he was is severe pain, with arms and legs flailing wildly.  According to Chi running, Evolution running, or any other popular running form philosophy, Zatopek's form was atrocious; however, it obviously worked for this amazing runner earning him gold in the 5,000 meter, 10,000 meter and the marathon (his first ever marathon!).

EFFICIENCY
In order to run long distances, you want your movement to be efficient - meaning use as little energy as possible for each stride.  For example, yo…

VISIONRUNUSA Series (4): Planning the Route

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Once I knew I was going to run across America, I had to figure out a route to take.  I had hoped that it would be as easy as typing in a Google search, and I would be able to pull up a route.  I was wrong.  This was one of the hardest parts of the planning process.  It was meticulous, and very detail oriented - a couple things I do not enjoy for long durations of time.
First, I had to determine my start and stop points.  I decided to do the run in the Spring time.  The rationale for that was, my kids went with their Mom for Spring Break in 2016 (I am divorced and we switch who gets the kids for Spring Break on an annual basis).  I knew I would be away from my kids for at least 10 days due to Spring Break, so I decided this would be "the best" way to deal with a separation from my kids for 2 months.  I would have been away from them for 10 days already, so we would only have to suffer through 50 more days of being apart.  The strategy made sense mathematically, but no sense …