I mentioned the other day that I was reading a book called Do Life in anticipation of the author’s visit to Book People. That visit happened yesterday, and although I had a ton of work to do this weekend and couldn’t really afford the time, I took a break from the office and went to hear Ben Davis speak. I’m so glad I did.
I don’t remember how long ago I came across this YouTube video called “My 120-Pound Journey,” but I loved it from the moment I saw it. It made me cry, and I felt like I’d met someone who believed in the same thing I did – the power of big dreams. If you haven’t watched the video, stop and watch it right now. Seriously. Right now.
Since seeing the video, I’ve been following his blog, Ben Does Life, so I knew he had gotten a book deal and had a book coming out in December. (It’s a good book, complete with training plans for different kinds of races, so I do recommend it for anyone who needs a little encouragement.) When I got an email from Book People saying that Ben Davis would be visiting the store, I immediately put it on my calendar. He was planning to meet folks for a short run and then do a talk and a signing. I planned to attend both the run and the talk, but I decided to skip the run and just attend the talk so that I could get more work done.
At Book People, he spoke about his journey, his ongoing battle with his weight, and his goals through the Do Life movement.
The races Ben did weren’t about weight. They were about happiness and sharing happiness with others. “Find happiness. Don’t just find it but spread it. Do these things, and do them together,” he said. For Ben, “these things” meant workouts, healthy meals, runs, and triathlons – things that one after another felt like the coolest thing he had ever done. He did these cool things with his dad and his brother and then eventually with total strangers all over the country. But for you and me, “these things” could be anything. The point is to get excited about life and to share that excitement with others.
Hearing that from Ben was a good reminder yesterday. I think I’ve generally done a good job of putting things on my calendar that excite me, but it’s harder for me to share that excitement with others. Right now, I don’t know who, if anyone, wants to come along, and I find it easier sometimes to just do these things myself. Involving others is stressful. It’s a bummer when people say no, so I often don’t ask. But I need to ask more than I do. I need to allow for the possibility that someone will want to do the things I love to do with me. It’s not just about doing life. It’s about doing life together.
Thanks for the reminder, Ben.