The Barkley Marathons

I think most people would be better off with more pain in their lives, honestly. I think that, if nothing else, they would appreciate the pain-free times more. But I think also there’s this self-induced aspect of, you’ve struggled, you’ve overcome, you’ve gotten through, then you’re confident and you both enjoy the rest of your life more, but also you feel like you can do things and you take on challenges that you wouldn’t otherwise try, and you get to points that you wouldn’t otherwise reach.

– Julian Jamison from The Barkley Marathons: The Race that Eats Its Young

I recently watched a documentary about the infamous Barkley Marathon.

Since I first heard about the race a few years ago, I’ve thought it was kind of ridiculous, but I really enjoyed the documentary. I still have no desire to ever participate in the race, but I have a newfound respect for the participants.

It’s currently streaming on Netflix or you can rent it from Apple for 99 cents.

President Obama and Marilynne Robinson

Last year President Obama had an interesting conversation with writer Marilynne Robinson that was published in the New York Review of Books (Part 1, Part 2)

I’ve learned I think I’ve learned from novels. It has to do with empathy. It has to do with being comfortable with the notion that the world is complicated and full of grays, but there’s still truth there to be found, and that you have to strive for that and work for that. And the notion that it’s possible to connect with some[one] else even though they’re very different from you.

– President Barack Obama