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Barry Sackett for TEDxOkoboji's 1st Annual Conference

November 18th, 2019 | Meet the Speakers

Barry Sackett

"Discover 100"

1st Annual TEDxOkoboji Conference // 22 November 2019

Fortunately, I had signed up for the Mines of Spain 100 (MOS 100) before I committed to speaking at TEDx.  I may have hesitated to take on the race and do the talk in back to back months, but luckily it was such a great way for me to process what I was trying to say.  What I discovered at that race was amazing and informative to my talk and my preparation of the talk made it my best 100-mile race I have ever run.  

Prior to the run I had drafted this big long and boring talk that touched on lots of things, but generally did not come up with an idea worth spreading. I got that feedback from our incredible coaches Andrea and Josh who politely said, Barry you are not there yet.  I was amazed at how difficult drafting a TED talk was, I know I was warned, but it was harder than I could imagine. My concept of looking at someone living to be 100 years old through the lens of running a 100 mile race seemed like an idea, but as I tried to do craft it, I fell down many rabbit holes, the biggest and deepest one was my gigantic ego.  After getting my feedback I started to pull apart my original talk and it quickly disintegrated into a blur of words. We had a meeting with the other speakers to discuss our progress and I was reassured that I was not the only speaker with a blob of words instead of a coherent talk. With the MOS100 coming up the next week, I felt that I would focus on my run and see if I might find some inspiration.

As I stated above, the run was an amazing experience for me, so I wrote a long description of it for my coach in place of this blog, but he indicated that I should talk about the process of writing instead of a story about running.   But I will say this, I did not run 100 miles, I ran one mile a 100 times, and I did not run those miles alone, I ran them with my crazy trail people. The emotional and mental strength I have found necessary to run 100 miles is not possible without the support of the crazy people that do that kind of thing.  I am a lucky man that gets to associate with them and associate with the group of people slated to speak at TEDx Okoboji on the 22nd. The idea which is Okoboji, will show up and I think will be well worth spreading.

Barry Sackett for TEDxOkoboji's 1st Annual Conference

September 4th, 2019 | Meet the Speakers

Barry Sackett

"Discover 100"

1st Annual TEDxOkoboji Conference // 22 November 2019

I have been running every day since November 4, 2009.  I am often asked and often ponder why I run. At this point I think the reason that tops of the list of all the good reasons I run is the internal dialog I get to have each day.  That time has produced a lot of ideas over the years, and when I was presented the opportunity to speak at a TEDx event, I thought it would be a great opportunity to express some of these bottled up ideas. 

What to talk about?  Top of mind at the time was the revelation of turning 50 years old in May of 2019, and the concept of this being the halfway mark of my life.  This of course implied that I would live to be 100 and have 50 years to go—seemed daunting. Another time in my life when I got to 50 and had 50 to go was running 100-mile races.  That sense of significant accomplishment in completing 50 miles is very muted when you realize you must do it one more time before you are through.

So, like that feeling, am I excited to live another 50?  Knowing that I will not be as physically strong, as mentally strong nor as well supported as I was in the first 50 miles.  That somewhere in the next 50 miles I will be all alone in physical and emotional despair. 

I accept that the next 50 years will have a similar result, but at some point, I may similarly find new depths of relationships with those I meet along the trudge, which will give me insight into a life beyond my own, time to distill my thoughts and desires to the most primal point.  Those are the things which have me sign up for another 100-mile race, so I hope to use that experience to become excited about another 50 years of life.

These are some of the ideas I first hope to explore, and then spread through the TEDx stage.  I am intimidated, humbled and feel a deep responsibility to do my very best, understanding that my learnings through the process will undoubtedly be much larger than my teachings.

1st Annual TEDxOkoboji Conference // Friday November 22, 2019