Hell on Earth by John Cali

 Death Valley

A couple months ago an old childhood friend died. I don’t know all the circumstances, as he and I had lost touch with each other some years ago. But I did see his sister not long before his death. She said he was well and happy. He’d been a marathon runner for many years.

Was there any connection between his marathon running and his death? I don’t know. Some medical experts say marathon running can actually damage the human heart, rather than making it stronger.

But I do know, from my own younger years, pushing myself beyond all sensible boundaries (which I did often) was at least partly an effort to help me feel good about myself.

Isn’t that the human condition? We have to constantly prove to ourselves (and others) we are worthy.

This morning I read a short news article about some marathon runners who will be racing 135 miles through one of the harshest places on earth — the USA’s Death Valley. Over 3 days, they will start from 280 feet below sea level and end up at 8,300 feet above sea level. Daytime temperatures will be above 120 degrees Fahrenheit (49 Celsius). Nighttime temperatures range up to 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 Celsius).

To me, that would be hell on earth.

I have no right to judge the motivation of those runners. And I’m not. But I have to wonder, given my own life experiences, why they are doing this.


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19 Responses

  1. Mary Carol

    What an interesting question. Thank you, John. My daughter (carefully) runs cross country ultra-marathons and Tough Mudders. My sense is that for her there’s an exhilaration, a pure joy, in feeling every cell of her body. Though I’ve never been a runner myself, I can relate. I take great joy in my senses all the time. Lately, colors are so vivid that sometimes my eyes get tired from the amazingness of it all. Whether we’re doing yoga or running or swimming or meditating, our bodies are an integral part of our human existence – something to celebrate every day.

  2. ItisMe

    Viewing from the understanding that we are all interconnected, co-creators of a “Universal Physical Body”…
    and the the Earth’s “Collective Physical Body” is presently experiencing a “download” of higher energetic frequencies than what we were previously use to {i.e…wired for; programmed to allow the flow of}……

    ….Then what better way to upgrade the wiring of our “Individual physical Form” then to engage the “Body Form” in activities on the physical realm, that at the time of engagement; enable it to learn to allow the flow of the “Higher Energetic Frequencies of Energy” to merge and flow throughout the body form in the most harmonious and Comfortable manner while at the same time maintaining a certain degree of consciousness necessary for the downloading to take place in the most Comfortable manner..WHILE IN THE MIST OF FEELING UNCOMFORTABLE…….meanwhile CO-CREATING the Birth of an upgraded response… (i.e..automatic response)…not only for their own physical body pattern but for All “Body Forms” to be able to respond with,…{[consciously or unconsciously}…..at a time when such a moment presents itself…… { For We are all interconnected}.
    Without having to experience the installing aspect of it …..Without having to take the previously installed “physical response to higher frequencies, our fear-based e-motions PROGRAM and replace it with a more encompassing one based on understanding and working with energy flow …not in fear of it…..
    For others have volunteered to do the re-wiring in this particular area for the benefit of the WHOLE, not just for what outwardly appears to be just for themselves…..But for All Of Us to benefit from…..Feeling Honored that there are souls out there willing to take on such tasks.. whether this is consciously done or Unconsciously done once they are in physical form… does not matter ….all that matters is I am able to actively observe this Occurrence As Coming From a Place of Unconditional LOVE !
    ..Just a different view on this matter.

  3. anny

    Hi John,

    This is an interesting post with interesting comments, different though they are. That in itself shows that we all have different motives for what we do and different things that are important to us.

    I think that most of us do want to push at boundaries in some area of life and there are so many ways in which we can. But even if we share the same interest, the reasons for doing so might be widely apart. I do not think that we could possible be able to get them all under one heading. Nor do we have to. Only on a personal basis, by asking people themselves by showing real interest in their motives, can we ever get clear what drives that particular person to do what he or she does. And that can broaden our own horizon as well.

    And I agree, life is all about experiencing joy and if that means that by following his joy someone returns to the non-physical world sooner than we would have wanted it is not a disaster in itself, even though we might experience that as such.

    As always it is all a matter of perspective.



    • John Cali

      I agree with you, Anny — it’s all a matter of perspective. And none of us have any business condemning the perspectives of others, even when they’re radically different from our own.

      I didn’t mention this in the blog post, but I also am a runner and have been over 40 years. Though I’m not a marathon runner, I certainly honor whatever motives those folks have.


  4. Joseph

    Why do humans do anything? They are looking to know love. John mentioned self worth issues. Others equate acceptance/accomplishment with being loved. We are in a physical world where we believe our senses are what tells us how we and others are doing, where outside validation seems to be the all important barometer of our self worth and lovability. As one grows in awareness they realize the physical world is all an illusion and the only love and truth lies within one’s self. So until our conscious programming shifts from seeing our self from the outside rather than the inside we will test ourself unnecessarily to prove we are lovable. You can save yourself a lot of effort and pain by knowing you are what you seek – Love – and shinning that out to be mirrored back to you. That’s where and when the truth will come to light.

    • John Cali

      Great question, Joseph! It always comes down to the same thing — what you said — love. That’s where we came from, it’s who we are, and it’s where we will return.

    • Chris

      Oh, there is a phrase there that hits a chord for me. ” we are in a physical world where we believe our senses tell us how we and others are doing.”. To turn it on it’s side ,so to speak, what is going on when we feel chronic pain? It’s one thing to bring pain upon ourselves consciously by pushing ourselves to the extreme but what about when we find ourselves in pain that we neither sought nor wanted? What are our senses telling us then? And how can we rise above or ignore what we are feeling? I’m not interested in how society feels about the pain or about me as having the pain.

  5. Margaret Unger

    When they are engaged in something that extreme perhaps they are looking for an edge to life that they don’t get while engaged in everyday life. Perhaps as extensions of Source they are doing it for those of us who would never ever experience that. Maybe because they can, and that’s exciting for them. Pushing the boundaries.

  6. patricia

    maybe it is a way for them to move energy within themselves. I have heard/learned feeling my feelings is a great way to move energy within myself. what if there was a feeling marathon? I wonder how much mileage their health would get from that kind of marathon. Just a thought.

  7. Shirley McLain

    I think these runners have to have a little bit of the “Look at what I did syndrome”. To me this doesn’t prove anything except lack of good sense. Everything we have been told in the medical field is to stop all vigorous activity because the heat can put undue pressure on your heart. Not to mention the possibility of a heat stroke. Is the reward so great at the end that they will risk their lives? Personally, I think they are eat up with the DA. 🙂

  8. Stephanie

    To each his own …
    I’m just thrilled that I DO NOT have a desire to push my body to the limits …
    Some choose to over eat … others to use alcohol or drugs … others to push their bodies in the opposite direction.
    Who am I to say what lessons they are here to learn in this lifetime …
    My desire is to be happy, healthy … happy, healthy .. happy, healthy … transition!!
    In the meantime .. I am working on loving myself as my creator does .. while I play more with the laws of the Universe …

  9. Lee

    I agree.. a need to appear macho in order to gain acceptance.

  10. Wendy Iredale

    Thanks for the interesting post, John. I have been wondering about and looking for information about the reason for all our different experiences recently. It is especially noticeable when the experience I am observing is really not one that I would like to have myself. The marathon you talked about certainly fits in that category! So far in my explorations, it seems to me that Source doesn’t qualify any experience with good or bad as we so often do but accepts all experiences as having value just through their existence. Also, as Source sees our physical death just as a transition, there is no problem if we die sooner (not at all the same from our physical point of view). It is a big thought and I am not sure I have it right, either, but it makes sense to me in a lot of ways.


    • John Cali

      Thank you, Wendy, for your comments. I agree with you about physical death — sooner or later makes no difference to Spirit.


  11. Roy

    Is this a guy thing?
    I agree, we always seem to need to prove we are capable.
    I have pushed myself hard over the years and used to road bike with a heart monitor for a few years and yes, I’ve tried to max out the heart rate several times to see how far I could push it.
    Running 135 miles in those types of temperature sounds crazy, in a non judgmental kind of way – I know the heat would get me, I’m not comfortable in extreme heat, though I have cycled in 42 Celsius heat and that was tough. Makes me wonder how they will stay cool enough, I’m curious.
    I wish them well! 🙂

  12. Chris

    My daughter’s boyfriend is still. trying for a personal best at age 39 in marathon runs. He says he’s doing it because he still can and he knows that shortly his body won’t be able to keep up a good pace. (He’s got a knee that is about to call it quits.) It is sort of a Peter Pan thing for him, I think.

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