Go the Distance


…whispered the voice to an inspired but equally confused Ray Kinsella (played by Kevin Costner), in the movie, Field of Dreams, as this bungling Iowa farmer plows under his crops to build a baseball field to the disbelief and dismay of most everyone around him.  It is a great story of faith and trust, drive and determination against all odds. In my December Great Gadgets for Giving article I introduced you to ultra runner, Gary Allen, and his quest to raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project, the American Cancer Society and Sandy Hook Elementary.  I heard the “voice” last night after meeting up with  Gary at mile 105 of a 700+ mile run from Maine to Washington, D.C. and I was inspired to give you an update on his progress and perhaps help you find your voice. 

What’s Your Everest?

Gary Allen has completed 86 career marathons finishing 75% of them in under three hours.  He is one of only 30 people on the planet who have completed sub-​​3hr marathons in five consecutive decades and ranks 8th in the length of time for their completion.  “Embrace the inner mountaineer I believe we all have inside. I have called the marathon the common person’s Everest…People should not be afraid to climb the mountains that we have all around us, be it running to the corner stop sign or from Maine to Washington D.C..”

As we step (or run in Gary’s case) into the new year, you may have already set your fitness and health goals.  If so, what are they?  Have you put them in writing, mapped out your plan, taken a step forward to achieve your goal?  Like all goals, focusing on a better, fitter you requires the following steps for success:

  1. End Game — know where the finish line is before you start your race.  Keep your focus on the result.  Do you have a weight goal, a lean body mass goal, a size goal?  Do you want to improve your eating habits?  Write down exactly how it will feel to achieve your goal as if it’s already here.  I know that Gary is visualizing himself running up the steps of the Capitol building not the miles of road in between.
  2. Plan Your Route — map out on a daily, even hourly, basis exactly what you need to do to get to your goal.  If you are changing your diet, plan your meals and snacks for the week so you are prepared to execute it.  As a military spouse, I know the importance of preparation.  Mark’s troops prepared their exercises and deployments weeks, months, and sometimes years in advance of their operations.  Daily due diligence may be a pain at first but it will keep you on track to a successful mission!
  3. Mile Markers - On his journey, Gary has volunteers with him who park at waypoints along his route.  They refuel him, rewarm him and encourage him to press on.  While on your path, be sure to set up some mile markers to gauge your progress.    Are you on track?  Do you need to make a course correction?  Are you hopelessly lost?  Having predetermined points will help you get back in the game toward your goal.
  4. Buddy Up — designate your “go-​​to” person. Someone who believes in you no matter the odds.  In our movie, Ray found Terrance Mann, played by James Earl Jones:  “I wish I had your passion, Ray…misdirected though it might be, it is still a passion.” Today, Gary found Olympic Gold Medal winner, Joan Benoit Samuelson.  They ran together this morning as Gary presses through Day Four of his quest. Who is thet person in your life who will inspire you to press on to your goal, hold you accountable and help you keep the faith?
  5. Lighten Up — Do you ever notice how much easier a task is when you’re in a good mood?  Every goal, no matter how serious an endeavor, should always have an element of fun.  Crank up the tunes to keep you motivated.  Take a laugh break by watching a funny youtube video or two.  Gary’s advice?  “Keep it fun. Don’t let running and fitness become another job.”

If  You Build It…

“You know we just don’t recognize the most significant moments of our lives while they’re happening.” said Dr. Archibald “Moonlight” Graham played by Burt Lancaster.  Until this writing, I never knew that Moonlight Graham was a real person who actually was called up to the majors to play right field in the bottom of the 9th.  The game ended without an at-​​bat for Graham and that was the one and only time he played in the majors.   He went on to become a doctor for over 50 years volunteering his time to help fit children with free eye glasses.  In the movie Ray asked how he could come so close to his dream and not touch it. “It would kill some men…they’d consider it a tragedy.” To which Doc Graham responded gently, “Son, if I’d only gotten to be a doctor for five minutes…now that would have been a tragedy.”

There is a ripple effect in life as our lives connect with each other in ways we may never know or even imagine.  It’s obvious that Gary Allen has always had a passion to run.  He has achieved multiple goals in his life and inspired thousands through his motivational talks and as founder of multiple running events including Crow Athletics running club, Great Cranberry Island Ultra Marathon (named “Best Race Ever” by Runner’s World Magazine) and the Mount Desert Island Marathon (voted “Most Scenic Marathon” by Runners’ World Magazine).

Gary had a crazy notion to run from Maine to DC, a feat he’s never attempted before.  It may be his Everest, his Field of Dreams.  He’s taken us with him on his journey knowing that “if you build it, they will come.”  Whatever your mountain know that achieving your goals will definitely inspire others to achieve theirs.

Follow Gary: Be sure to follow gary on twitter (@garyallen262) and use tag #me2dcrun to keep Gary encouraged.  You may also support Gary’s causes by donating on his website: www​.maine2dcrun​.com.

Refuel with Reliv: Gary has incorporated Reliv products into his daily routine including 24K™, Innergize!® and ProVantage ® to help him achieve his goal. “I have been amazed at the usable and active energy boost I’m getting and how great I’ve been feeling since I’ve been using Reliv…bouncy is how I’d describe it!”  We are honored to supply Gary with his Reliv products which can be found at www​.My24kVIP​.com vip code: gold or by visiting www​.lunasinproducts​.com

“Is there a heaven?…Oh yeah.  It’s the place where dreams come true…Maybe this is heaven.”

Copyright © 2013 by Christine A.Toriello, all rights reserved.



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Chris Toriello

Chris is a military spouse and a successful entrepreneur working from home along the beautiful Maine coast. A former mechanical engineer, Chris has a passion for sports and fitness. As a worldwide trainer and nutritional expert, Chris has mentored and coached individuals, families, businesses, non-profit and sports organizations to perform at their peak with optimal nutrition. She also teaches marketing and branding of an elite performance nutrition product line to help others expand their brand and develop a viable passive income stream.

"We also hold the exclusive rights to the world's first epigenetic superfood, Lunasin. Nutritional epigenetics is about to experience explosive growth and we are actively seeking business partners to help us with this massive expansion (the initial business registration fee is waived for all active duty military)." To see what all the excitement is about, contact Chris at chris@relivingmaine.com, 207.657.6978 or www.lunasinproducts.com