He had it all; a loving wife, a best friend from childhood who helped him pursue excellence and the joy we are sure must result from being the best at what you do. Then it was gone.
According to an article in the most recent issue of Runner’s World, Scott Jurek, the best Ultra Marathoner in the world, is going through a crisis. His wife left him for another runner, and his best friend is resentful in that by helping Scott, he sacrificed his own success. The joy from being at the top, who knows if it was ever there?
When I heard that Scott would be running in Brooklyn this past Sunday with a small group of runners, I just had to be there. Not because he is a star. After reading the article, I had to ask him if the sense of self-doubt that came from the article was true. (Besides, the thought of running with a legend seemed pretty cool. It was kind of like having Lebron James show up for a pickup basketball game at my house). With many runners trying to speak with him as we ran, Scott and I spoke for only a short time. Although he admitted that the article was a little overly melodramatic, the basic gist of it is true.
Of course, this got me thinking. We are often so sure that if we had it all, however we define the word “all”, we would be happy. It is the lack of some thing, experience or feeling in our lives that keeps us from being happy. If only we had it, things would change. Scott Jurek shows that isn’t true. Guys like him are not supposed to lose out on any part of their alleged storybook lives. Those who are the best are supposed to be happy, to be free of the doubts that can plague us mere mortals. That is why we as a culture are so obsessed with stars. Sometimes, the curtain gets pulled back and we learn that even people who have it all might be missing out on one of the most important things of all.