It's rare to find a flow in life where all needs align. Usually, some needs have to be traded for others. And sometimes it's hard for me to even know what it is I really need.
Talking with my friend Blaine Benitez on this episode, I think he's someone who is working to understand the ebb and flow of life, pursuing his needs, and the discovery of them, in an intuitive way. And there's something beyond all that too, something impractical, purely biological, in the way and for the reasons he runs. To me, Blaine is an artist of movement.
To build an altar for something that others see as unproductive, to shape your life around that idea or pursuit, takes a lot of belief in that thing. It takes a kind of patience or endurance that is found all on your own. But the flow of motivation is a collaborative act. Blaine is inspired by his friends, the mountains he lives near, and the feeling he gets from running in them.
In the podcast we talk about taking it easy, but taking it. How the idea of running all 11,000 foot peaks in the Wasatch outside SLC came about, and what it was like to do that in one push. We talk about how we both go outside every day, how Blaine runs every day, about sleeping and napping, sponsorship and priorities in life, how endurance doesn't need to be an intense thing. We talk about how a mindful, content feeling can be accessible in the next breath, the next step, and the idea that resistance uses energy, and creates tension. And we end talking about running beyond reason.
3:50 - How Blaine found his way to Salt Lake City
7:00 - Figuring out how to camp for free, and how to travel to trial and error
9:40 - Making a living
12:10 - Stability vs flexibility
14:10 - How the idea of the Wasatch 11's came about
20:00 - Waking up on an 11,000' summit and running into work that same morning
21:00 - Memories of the Wasatch traverse
22:50 - Wasatch Traverse: Being present and easing tension
24:40 - Focusing on the next step, and having a healthy internal environment
“A really mindful, content feeling is accessible in the next breath that you take, so it's nice to spend that long in such a vulnerable and physically demanding state”
26:16 - "Take it easy, but take it" - Running without suffering
27:10 - Gary Snyder - "Watch the ground below your feet speed by"
29:30 - "You can always take another step, you can always alleviate some tension"
30:10 - Asking hard questions about making things and being someone
31:20 - The use of the word endurance, and its relationship to patience
"Endurance doesn't have to be an intense thing"
32:10 - Running every day
34:00 - Finding a flow in running
37:00 - Running as a way toward mental wellbeing
Running is primarily a tool for me to navigate internal framework/mental health
Instead of thinking about something, I turn myself outwards
39:40 - Going outside every day
"Running outside is a biological need. I absolutely need it just like I need food"
"Running is a way to fulfill biological needs and to fulfill a purpose"
43:30 - How running and athletic can be simple, and without goals
52:50 - Dan Price and living life on your old terms
54:20 - Injuries
59:00 - Getting sleep
1:05:00 - Hardest runs that Blaine has done, and the Bonneville Shoreline trail
1:18:00 - Traven's Dragon Wing Visualization in the Quad Lock (Rock) Race
1:21:00 - Fear and the unknown
1:38:00 - Sponsorship and priorities
1:45:40 - Running beyond reason
When I'm at work or when I'm around other people I can be a lot more pleasant person around my coworkers
2:00:00 - How resistance takes energy