So many of the accounts in Running through the Wall talk about how ultra-running has given them new confidence in themselves.

I don’t believe it.

Or, I don’t believe it will have that effect on me.

Oh, I’m sure it does for some people. And I expect it is the kind of story that editors like to collect. But could it affect me that way?

I certainly lack confidence. But I don’t lack confidence in my ability to push myself. I lack confidence in my ability to deal with others. I have absolutely no idea how to start a conversation — oh I can lecture, but that’s not a conversation. A blog is perfect for me, a nice monologue where I can’t see when people get bored and stop reading. I used to go out with a woman who would laugh at me whenever I attempted to make small talk — so now I don’t go out with anyone and no one laughs.

I just can’t see how running could help that. All that time out on the trails alone.

Of course, I don’t know that I’ll be able to run 50 miles. I expect I can. I hope I can. It will be interesting to try. (And rather embarrassing if I can’t because my parents say they’ll come watch). But I don’t really expect it will build significant confidence.

I know I can push myself through 6 miles of steadily increasing misery when I hit the wall at mile 20 of Cal International Marathon. I know I can write the best open source font editing program in the world. If I run 50 miles, I expect that to be just more of the same.

But I don’t think it will help me talk to you.


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