Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The Future of Running Shoes is Here: Custom-Built Shoes!

Imagine having sensors attached to your ankles, shins, and knees and then asked to do a series of knee bends and run a few steps on a treadmill equipped with a camera. Sounds like the lab of a strange scientist, doesn't it?  Shoe manufacturer, Brooks, now has a device that will capture a runner's motion precisely... examining the runner's biomechanics. It will analyze how far the knees point away from each other and how the swing of the hips affects the knees.

Brooks is working with the tech company HP to combine a runner’s gait information with a three-dimensional foot scan generated by HP’s new FitStation device. HP’s technology can measure pressure along the foot as it lands in each stride. This data helps Brooks to determine how much polyurethane to inject into a shoe’s sole to achieve the right density for as many as 30 zones of your foot. Here’s how it works:

  • You start by filling in a profile with some basic info: name, weight, height, etc.
  • You walk barefoot (or in light colored socks) naturally across a nondescript mat. The system will analyze your gait, joint movement, and foot pressure.
  • Next, you place one foot at a time on a glass box. The FitStation will scan each foot to create a 3D rendering.
  • The FitStation will provide a summary with some insights, including basic stats such as the length and width of each foot and gait pattern, as well as some deeper insights. The whole process to set up your profile takes about 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Finally, your personal FitStation analysis is translated into specific features for each shoe. State-of-the-art machinery produces your shoe with the features built just for you and then ships them to your home.

Brooks is currently testing FitStation at 12 locations, and HP has dedicated 80 full-time engineers to FitStation. The FitStation partners are still determining price.

Keep Reaching For Life's Mileposts,

Paul Staso
www.paulstaso.com

Friday, January 26, 2018

"How Hard Was It To Run Across America?"



A colleague at my office recently asked me what she considered to be a rather simple question: "How hard was it to run across America?" I've been asked a lot of questions in the nearly 12 years since I completed my solo coast-to-coast adventure, but that is a question I'm not actually asked very often. I'm used to being asked how many pairs of running shoes I went through (six), or how long it took me to run the 3,260 miles (108 days). Those are easy answers to toss out. However, trying to describe how "hard" it was to run across the country is very difficult.

For some people, it's "hard" just to make it to the end of the work week, or it's "hard" to take the stairs rather than the elevator. Trying to sum up the difficulty of the 6 million strides between the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean seems nearly as difficult as it was to get myself to the starting line to begin that endeavor. How hard was that run? Well, it took every ounce of strength, determination, perseverance and faith that I had within me. It hurt -- every day! It beat me into the ground and there were times that I thought it might break me. How "hard" was it? Let me put it this way: It redefined the word "hard" in my life!

The picture above was taken on the hottest day of the run across America... in 105-degree heat in eastern Washington state on Highway 14 along the Columbia River. I was in the middle of a 30-mile day and was battling tendinitis in my lower right leg. There were rattlesnakes in the bushes along the road's edge, the pavement was radiating heat at over 140 degrees, and the stroller of gear, food and water weighed over half of my body weight (and I weighed 145 pounds at the time). If you look at my left shoulder in the photo you'll see that my skin had bubbled up... literally cooking in the searing heat. It may appear to be sweat, but it is blistered skin because the sun typically rotated around my left side as I ran east. My feet were blistered, my back and shoulders ached, and I typically didn't see a car on that particular highway for up to an hour. That was just ONE day of the run across America... and the entire journey took a total of 108 days on the pavement.

How hard was it to run across America? It was far more demanding than I ever imagined it would be. Most people who cross the country on foot have support vehicles with air conditioning, cold beverages, good food, and other people to encourage and assist. When you're running across the country alone, as I did, you have to be completely self sufficient -- and there is no escaping the weather. My water supply would get very warm, like bath water. Any food that I carried would lose its consistency in the relentless heat, and often lose its taste. Grasshoppers and flies were constantly coming at my sweat-covered body. Blisters would break, bleed, and hurt as the skin on the balls of my feet tore away while I pushed the heavy stroller down the road. My hands would ache from gripping the stroller's handlebar and blisters formed on my palms.

How hard was it to run across America? Many days, it was agony. Sure, there were easier days... but countless days were filled with pain and complete solitude. I'll never be able to fully describe how hard it was to run between 30 to 50 miles every day for nearly 4 months across the country. It has been nearly a dozen years since I did it and I still can't accurately and completely describe all that I experienced physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Running across America during the second hottest summer ever recorded in the United States highly magnified parts of my character and human spirit that I had never fully experienced before in my life. It made me learn so many things about myself, about what I can endure, and about the capabilities of the human body and spirit.

How hard was it to run across America? Simply stated, it was absolutely the most physically demanding, challenging and painful thing I've ever done in my life. Absolutely!

Keep Reaching For Life's Mileposts,

Paul Staso
www.paulstaso.com

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Make Good on a Promise? Preposterous!

On July 23, 2006, the Washington Times reported: "In a world of broken promises, Paul Staso is a man of his word." It was an article about my solo run across America to keep a promise I had made to 96 elementary children. The writing about me ended with the words: "Make good on a promise? Preposterous!"

I think that most people I encountered on the 15-state run looked at what I was doing as "preposterous" -- including running all alone across the country, pushing all of my gear in a yellow stroller, and enduring 30 miles every day simply to keep my word to some kids. Most people were supportive and encouraging, but that doesn't mean they weren't silently thinking 'This guy is nuts!'

I'm very careful about the promises I make. In fact, I believe I'm more careful now than I used to be. In my view, keeping a promise says something about one's integrity. I believe that integrity is not a single action, but a series of actions -- a reputation for consistency that builds slowly over time. My keeping a promise to 96 elementary kids in 2006 at the age of 41 didn't make me an integritous person. However, it did contribute to a collection of actions in my life toward integrity.

Everyone stumbles and falls and as hard as they try, sometimes they can't fulfill every promise made. Sometimes external factors -- outside of the person's control -- cause a promise to go unfulfilled. Regardless, I believe that promises and integrity go hand in hand. It was truly a blessing to be able to fulfill my promise to those 96 elementary students in 2006. All of them are now in their 20's and are blazing their paths in life as adults. I hope that somewhere in their memory is the guy who ran coast-to-coast with a jogging stroller simply to keep his word to them. It wasn't done for fame or fortune (neither of which occurred). It was simply to make good on a promise. Preposterous!

Keep Reaching For Life's Mileposts,

Paul Staso
www.paulstaso.com

Monday, January 22, 2018

Olympians' Jackets Have Heating Ink Controlled by Smartphones


The USA Olympic athletes are going to be warm and comfortable at the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics in Korea beginning February 9. They'll be wearing red-white-and-blue down parkas equipped with a button on a slender battery pack inside that athletes can push to get an "instant and long-lasting jolt of toasty warmth."

Designed by Ralph Lauren Corp., it's said to be the most technologically advanced jacket ever produced. Essentially, the fabric has ink that heats up!

The electronic-printed conductive inks, printed in the shape of an American flag in carbon and silver and bonded to the interior of the jackets, are flexible and stretchable. The parkas are water-repellent. The athletes can set the temperature (there are three settings) via an app on their smartphones, or manually inside the jacket. The heat can last up to five hours on the high setting and 11 hours on the low setting, fully charged. So, it's literally wired but with no wires.

The heating system is embedded in an American flag inside the jacket, only the athletes will see it, so the American flag will heat the jacket.

The heating technology grew out of the success of the jacket that gold-medal swimmer Michael Phelps wore when he carried the flag at the Opening Ceremonies for the 2016 Summer Olympics. The "USA" on the back lit up, acting as a beacon for the team.

Keep Reaching For Life's Mileposts,

Paul Staso
www.paulstaso.com

Friday, January 19, 2018

"Do You Have Any Weapons or Drugs in That Stroller?"

If you ever get it into your head to run solo across America pushing a yellow jogging stroller of gear, food and water... be prepared to be stopped by police along the way! I was stopped many times during my 108-day crossing in 2006, and usually the police were checking to see if I had a child in the stroller. That's no joke!

I found that most of the police officers who stopped me along the road were courteous and encouraging. However, there was a 98-degree day in the middle of nowhere that I won't forget. I was about 1,200 miles into the run and had just crossed into North Dakota after completing my crossing of Montana. If you've never been at the Montana/North Dakota border on Highway 12, I can tell you that there is NOTHING there. No houses... no trees... no shade... just the Great Plains. On August 10, 2006 I crossed into North Dakota as the thermometer was nearly at the 100-degree mark. I was running 32 miles that day and was feeling really good after completing the largest state I would cross (Montana, at 620 miles across). However, my 'good' feeling would soon be dashed by a North Dakota state police officer who apparently had little to do and who had clearly watched too many TV police shows.

Less than a mile into North Dakota -- having not seen any vehicles for an hour -- a police car could be seen coming down the road. As he approached me, he turned on his red and blue flashing lights. I stopped and the officer got out of his car and walked toward me slowly... with one hand positioned just off of the firearm on his hip. He said, "What are you doing out here?" As if the sign on the front of my stroller wasn't enough, which read "Run Across America," I told him that I was on a coast-to-coast solo run. He eyed me up and down and then asked me if I had any weapons or drugs in the stroller. I told him no, that I am an ultra-marathon runner trying to keep a promise I had made to some elementary students in Montana. I informed him that he could verify it by information on the Internet. He asked for my I.D. and then walked back to his police car, with his head turned back to keep an eye on me.

I stood there in the baking heat, drinking some water as the sweat dripped down my face. After several minutes he emerged from his air-conditioned transport and said, "You're clean." He told me to make sure I obey the laws of North Dakota and then strolled back to his vehicle. He drove off without any other acknowledgment. He was definitely "all business" and his car ended up being the only one I would see for several more miles.

Maybe he thought I was a drug runner (literally) and that I was trying to disguise my drug smuggling by posing as a guy running across the country. I ran on... sipping some Gatorade -- my 'drug' of choice.

Keep Reaching For Life's Mileposts,

Paul Staso
www.paulstaso.com

Thursday, January 18, 2018

President Trump's "This" and "That" Exercise Regimen

Today, an "analysis" was posted at CNN.com by Chris Cillizza (CNN Editor-at-large) about President Donald Trump's overall health. As many know, White House physician Ronny Jackson recently revealed some information concerning the President's current health. He said that the President weighs 239 pounds and could stand to lose 10 to 15 pounds over the next year (he's 6'3" tall). Dr. Jackson stated, "He's more enthusiastic about the diet part than the exercise part, but we're going to do both."

President Trump likes to eat fast food, and he doesn't like to exercise. In an interview with Reuters on Wednesday, the President tried to make the case that he actually exercises more than people know, including Dr. Jackson. President Trump said, "I get exercise. I mean I walk, I this, I that. I run over to a building next door. I get more exercise than people think."

Based on that information, here's a summary of the President's exercise regimen:
  • Walking
  • This
  • That
  • Run to building next door
  • Unspecified number of repetitions
In that same Reuters interview the President said, "A lot of people go to the gym and they'll work out for two hours and all. I've seen people ... then they get their new knees when they're 55 years old and they get their new hips and they do all those things. I don't have those problems."

As CNN's Chris Cillizza reports, that's very similar to how Donald Trump described his reservations about exercise in a 2015 New York Times magazine profile. Trump said he was not following any special diet or exercise regimen for the campaign. He said, "All my friends who work out all the time, they're going for knee replacements, hip replacements -- they're a disaster."

As has been reported in the press many times, President Trump likes to golf. However, he doesn't even like to get too much exercise on the golf course -- choosing to ride in a cart rather than walk the course. He's even been seen driving his golf cart on the greens at various locations worldwide, which is a big NO NO in golfing. Seems he prefers to ride right up next to wherever the ball landed. Guess he's saving his steps for "This," and "That," and to "Run over to a building next door."

Keep Reaching For Life's Mileposts,

Paul Staso
www.paulstaso.com

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

I Really Haven't Run Very Far At All In My Lifetime


The image above is an illustrated logarithmic scale conception of the observable Universe with the Solar System at the center. Encircling the Solar System are the inner and outer planets, Kuiper belt, Oort cloud, Alpha Centauri star, Perseus Arm, Milky Way galaxy, Andromeda galaxy, other nearby galaxies, the cosmic web, cosmic microwave radiation, and invisible plasma. The image is based on logarithmic maps of the Universe put together by Princeton University researchers, as well as images produced by NASA based on observations made by their telescopes and roving spacecraft. Click here to see a full-size version of the image.

I've run about 50,000 miles in my lifetime, with about 15,000 of those miles occurring when I was in my 40's. I'll be 53 years of age in a couple of months and as I was looking at this image of the entire Universe (as we know it currently), I was struck by the fact that I really haven't run very far at all in my lifetime! When you stop to actually consider the vast expanse of the Universe, it makes my 3,260-mile run across America seem like one baby step in comparison to the magnitude of all that we know exists around us.

The radius of the observable universe is estimated to be about 46 billion light years, which according to some sources is about 2.7×1023 miles. My brain cannot even begin to comprehend that distance! Note that the observable universe is just the part of the universe we can see. The universe itself is much larger than that, and many believe that it is infinite.

Regardless of the fact that I've run enough miles to circle the earth a couple of times, it's really not much distance at all when looking at the bigger picture of the Universe!

Keep Reaching For Life's Mileposts,

Paul Staso
www.paulstaso.com

Friday, January 12, 2018

Are You Still On Track With Your New Year's Resolutions?

We're almost two weeks into the new year. Did you kick off the year by making any resolutions?

A survey by Statistics Brain shows that losing weight and eating healthy are the most popular resolutions of 2018. Those are followed by life improvements and better financial decisions. Apparently, more than 40% of Americans make New Year's resolutions. Statistics show that about 72 percent of people maintain their resolution through the first week of January and 68 percent of people go past two weeks. After that, 44 percent go beyond the six month mark. Also, people in their twenties are more than twice as likely to achieve their resolutions than people over the age of 50.

I'm not one to make New Year's resolutions. Never have been. I figure, if a change needs to be made it can be made any day of the year. However, I know that fitness studios love this time of year because enrollments increase and gyms are full. However, as January unfolds the numbers slowly dwindle and more available spaces can be seen in the parking lot. In fact, University of Scranton research suggests that just 8 percent of people achieve their New Year's goals.

Many people use the New Year as an opportunity to make large bucket lists or attempt extreme makeovers, whether personal or professional. That's a nice aspiration, but the average person has so many competing priorities that this type of approach is usually doomed to failure. Setting ambitious resolutions can be fun and inspiring, but the difficulty in achieving them means that your elation can quickly give way to frustration.

While it is true that simply setting a goal does significantly raise your chances of achieving that goal, many people find that within weeks or months they begin to abandon their resolutions as they hit bumps in the road that throw them off their stride. More often than not, people who fail to keep their resolutions blame their own lack of willpower. In surveys, these resolution setters say that if only they had more self-determination, they would have overcome hurdles that appeared and ultimately achieved their goals. Personally, I believe that you have as much willpower as you think you have. No more, no less.

Whether your New Year's resolutions have already gone by the wayside, or if you didn't even set any resolutions, always have goals for your life. Find a way that works for you to chart your goals. For some, making a clear to-do list is enough of a reminder; others rely on "vision boards" or personal diaries. Also, share your goals with your friends and family. It's another way to build accountability. Then, it's a matter of execution. Step out toward your goal -- believing in yourself and your ability to reach it. Remember, you only have as much willpower as you think you have. Think, step, believe, achieve!

Keep Reaching For Life's Mileposts,

Paul Staso
www.paulstaso.com

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Running Across America... and Experiencing a Hallucination!

A hallucination is defined as an experience involving the apparent perception of something not present. There is only one time in my life when I've experienced a hallucination, and it was on August 2, 2006. On that particular day, I was doing a 40-mile run in 90º heat on Highway 12 in eastern Montana during my coast-to-coast solo run across America. To say that this portion of eastern Montana is flat, barren and dry would be making this section of Montana sound too glamorous!

Since it was the second hottest summer on record in America, cattle were dying and streams were dried up. Heat radiated off of the pavement, making the road shimmer in the hot sun. I had run for countless miles without seeing anyone, without seeing any man-made structures, and without seeing any trees. In fact, I would run for two hours without seeing one car. However, there was a gentleman who stopped that day and handed me some carrots and a bottle of water, just to show his support. Encounters like that were very rare in eastern Montana.

I was nearly 1,000 miles into my 3,260-mile run across the country when on that very hot day in early August I saw something I had been craving to see in that barren countryside. I saw a grove of trees just off of the roadway to my left... up in the distance. I figured the trees were about a mile ahead, and I was determined to get there and to rest in some shade. I put my head down and pushed my support stroller with determination as the sweat dripped down my face -- my running cap completely soaked and salty from my perspiration. I ran for a few minutes, nearly mesmerized by the white line on the road's edge that I was following, and then looked up to see that the grove of trees was no closer!

My reasoning at the time was that the trees must be farther away than I had thought, and that I may be moving slowly due to how fatigued I was feeling. I put my head down and pressed on. I remember looking up again and seeing nothing but barren, dry land. There were no trees in sight! I looked behind me, thinking that perhaps I had run past them while not paying attention. No... there were no trees anywhere in sight. I immediately became scared! What had happened?! I knew that something had happened mentally and it truly shook me to the core. I stopped right there and took out a tarp I had on the stroller to make a lean-to in order to 'create' shade. I sat next to the stroller under my makeshift lean-to in order to pull myself together. I drank water and ate a PowerBar. I laid down on a thin mat that I had and tried to relax. No cars came along as I was laying there and all I could hear were grasshoppers in the weeds next to me. There was no wind... no sign of life... nothing -- but intense heat.

After about 20 minutes, I got up on my feet and continued on. I never had an experience like that again. If you read my online journal about the run across America, you will not see mention of this hallucination in the entry for August 2, 2006. The reason is that I didn't want to alarm my family and friends who were following my progress each day. However, the moment is forever etched into my memory.

By the way, after that 40-mile day with the hallucination experience, I ran 35 miles the next day in 100-degree heat -- having logged 75 miles within 36 hours. It was quite an adventure across 15 states!

Keep Reaching For Life's Mileposts,

Paul Staso
www.paulstaso.com

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Today's Milepost Was Over 24 Years In The Making

Today, I reached a milepost in life that all parents eventually arrive at. Today, my youngest child, Brian, turned 18 years of age. Now, I am the father of four adult children (between the ages of 18 and 24). It's a milepost on life's road that I've known for nearly 2½ decades that I would eventually reach. Now that I'm here, it's a moment of mixed emotions.

On one hand, I'm so proud of the young adults that all four of my children have become. On the other hand, I'm a bit saddened to see their childhood years officially come to an end. Along the way, there were countless mileposts reached... losing a first tooth; learning how to ride a bike; learning to drive; and so many other moments. I have over 24 years etched into my heart and memory of times with my children -- sledding, camping, road trips, playing in the yard, and more. Now, I look forward to watching all of them blaze their path in life.

My two eldest daughters have graduated from universities and are in professional positions. My almost 20-year-old son is working full time and creating wonderful music that so many people enjoy. Now, Brian is 18 and will be graduating from high school in less than 5 months. The time goes so quickly, and I cherish the years I had with my children as they were growing up. The walls of my home have many photos of past moments with my kids. Today, I've looked at those pictures with deeper appreciation for the blessing of being a parent.

Yes, life is filled with mileposts. Some we want to get to right away, while others we hope will take a long time to reach. The milepost I reached today came too quickly, but it's one that I know all parents eventually reach. Tonight, I'll be laying my head down to sleep knowing that I'll wake up tomorrow still being a parent, but that my children are fully raised. I'll always be a parent and hope that all of my children will want to seek my advice and/or input as they are reaching for their own mileposts on life's road.

There are more mileposts ahead... such as weddings and grandchildren, although neither of those mileposts are within sight at this time. There's certainly no need to rush things! Ha!

Keep Reaching For Life's Mileposts,

Paul Staso
www.paulstaso.com

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Would You Pay $16,000 For A Bicycle? How About $500,000?

You're looking at the Cervélo P5X high performance triathlon bike, which costs between $11,000 and $16,000 depending on the specifications preferred. It's one of the most anticipated triathlon bikes for 2018. Cervélo states on its website that the P5X is "the world’s fastest, most technologically advanced tri bike has been engineered as a complete system that harmoniously addresses speed, fit and usage."

So, would you spend $16,000 on a bike? Before you answer, you should probably know that you could spend more for a bike... A LOT more! The Trek Butterfly Madone, by designer Damien Hirst, used real butterflies to adorn the high end performance mountain bike as a tribute to Lance Armstrong’s return to the cycling circuit after surviving cancer. Even with the butterflies, this mountain bike was made for racing and can perform well, like any other bikes Armstrong rode in his career. The cost? $500,000 -- yes, that's right... HALF A MILLION! It's the most expensive mountain bike you can buy.



Keep Reaching For Life's Mileposts,

Paul Staso
www.paulstaso.com

Monday, January 1, 2018

If I'm a Freak, Outsider or Oddity -- So Be It!

The last movie that I watched in 2017 ended up being the best movie I saw during the year. In fact, it's one of the best movies I've ever seen. It's not often that I make a prediction about a movie, but I believe this movie will win many Golden Globe and Tony awards, and it is one that I definitely want to buy the soundtrack of. The movie I'm talking about is "The Greatest Showman" starring Hugh Jackman as P.T. Barnum.

I won't give away any of the story line, but I will say that P.T. Barnum's circus, as shown in the film, featured human "freaks," "outsiders" and "oddities." The Bearded Lady; little person "General Tom Thumb;" the world's fattest man; and, the "Irish Giant" (the tallest man in the world) -- were all featured in Barnum's shows. Not all who have seen this movie are supportive of it featuring the "disabilities" (as some call them) of these people's differences to the norm of society, particularly by a man profiting from such differences. I will not get into my views about that, but I will say that I can relate, at least to a degree, to the looks and stares that some of these "oddities" received as a result of their being different from society's norm.

Back in 1985, when I was 20 years old, I announced that I was going to run across America. A local newspaper printed a story of my planned coast-to-coast run and as a result... I lost some dear friends. You see, they couldn't grasp my belief that I could accomplish such an undertaking. I was laughed at by best friends and eventually made an outsider by friends I had throughout my teen years. When I was injured in 1986 during my first attempt to run across America and was unable to finish it, I was laughed at even more by these once-upon-a-time "friends." As the years went by, I always believed that I could run across the country. However, even some members of my extended family told me it was "nonsense" and that I would never do it. In 2006, at the age of 41, I proved all of them wrong by accomplishing a solo 3,260-mile run from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean in just 108 days.

Along the way, there were occasions when I was called names and belittled for what I was doing. Some yelled "Get a job!" while others told me that I was crazy, out of my mind, and a lunatic. One elderly man even told me that I had the brain of a scarecrow. When I was two-thirds of the way across the country, I gave a presentation at the world-renowned Mayo Clinic -- only to be told the very next day by someone associated with that famous hospital that I was "not normal" and that I shouldn't be able to do what I'm doing. I was spit on, had things thrown at me by passing motorists, and was run off the road by people deliberately swerving cars at me. Getting across America by running 30 miles per day solo was a challenge beyond anything I could have ever imagined. However, I succeeded -- and then I went on to run solo across Montana, Alaska, Germany, and the Mojave Desert.

As I was completing the run across the Mojave in 2011, I was told by someone that I had known for 25 years that they didn't understand the running part of my life and that I wasn't normal, because in that person's limited perspective "normal people" don't do the extreme running adventures that I had been accomplishing for many years. That person clearly never truly knew who I was, even after 25 years. Yes, there were many times during my running endeavors that I felt like a freak, outsider and oddity -- running more than the marathon distance every day while pushing gear, food and water in a yellow jogging stroller. However, I ran on... knowing that even though most people couldn't relate with my ability and purpose, I believed in myself and in what I was doing.

What many are considering to be the anthem of The Greatest Showman movie is the song "This Is Me." As I heard this song for the first time in that dark theater, my eyes welled. I thought back to all of the painful, lonely miles... pounding myself into the ground along side roads in America and Europe. The song includes these words:

When the sharpest words wanna cut me down 
I'm gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out
I am brave, I am bruised
I am who I'm meant to be, this is me
Look out 'cause here I come
And I'm marching on to the beat I drum
I'm not scared to be seen
I make no apologies, this is me

I ran with words like that in my heart, and to hear those words in the movie truly resurfaced feelings that I dealt with as I ran through countless small towns where I would receive curious looks by people who wouldn't approach me but would convey with just one look how 'odd' they perceived me to be. In the movie, P.T. Barnum states "No one ever made a difference by being like everyone else." I hope all of the running I've done across states and countries to promote youth health and fitness made a difference... even in a small way. I retired from extreme ultra-endurance running in 2016 and now blend into society. Most people who meet me have no knowledge of my accomplishments, and aside from my website and this blog, I generally don't offer information about the mileposts that I've reached for. Suffice it to say, I am truly just another face in the crowd these days -- and I'm okay with that.

The new year is stretched out in front of you. Make it the very best that you can... and step out into each day with confidence, commitment and conviction -- showing the world 'this is me.'

Keep Reaching For Life's Mileposts,

Paul Staso
www.paulstaso.com