So, that blog title is a bit of an attention grabber, huh? Well, let me break it down for you.
In 2008, I decided to chronicle my journey to my first marathon by producing a podcast named after my very little-read blog of the same name, Running to Disney. I got the idea from listening to podcasts about running, and found inspiration in the stories of the shows’ hosts. We all used technology, and a word (Podcasts), made popular by Steve Jobs and Apple. The simplification and popularity of this technology invited people to share their lives and stories with complete strangers across the interwebs.
My podcast introduced me to other people along the same journey of physical fitness, mental challenges, personal achievement. We shared our lives even though we had never shaken hands, or met, or spoke with one another save for one-sided conversations through our shows or call-ins or emails.
I found new friends who thought the same things I did, pursued the same goals, shared the same dreams, anxieties, fears, problems. So who knows, if I don’t start a podcast using my Macbook then maybe I am like so many people who run a marathon, one race and done. No motivation or inspiration to push beyond that which I had attained.
And without the podcast I don’t meet my friend Megan from California who begins to coach my running and share her life as a Vegan and how it made her not only a better runner, but a better human. And who knows? Without that friend ship maybe I don’t lose 75 pounds, become Vegan,attain a level of health and fitness that I presumed unreachable, and find myself off of the blood pressure medicine everyone assumed I’d take for the remainder of my life? Do I shave close to 3 hours off my marathon time between 2009 and 2011?
Maybe I don’t meet my friend Dom from Minnesota, who has become a close friend and confidant and fellow Disney nut. The list goes on and on: Kevin from Ohio, Stan from Missouri, Nik and Dan from Massachusetts, Eric from California, Jason from South Carolina, Shawn and Jason from Atlanta. And without that podcast I don’t receive emails from people who I have inspired to make their own life changes.
As the central character and narrator of Robert Penn Warren’s classic novel, All the King’s Men (1946), about the corrupting nature of power and the interrelatedness of all mankind. Jack Burden struggles to come to terms with his role in life and, more importantly, how one person’s life can affect the world and the lives of people with whom they are directly and indirectly connected. Burden ultimately realizes that no one person is disconnected from another and summarizes his discovery by observing that “. . . the world is like an enormous spider web and if you touch it, however so lightly, at any point, the vibration ripples to the remotest perimeter.” My web is so much larger and more extensive because of the types of technology that Steve Jobs introduced into my life.
Truth be told, I have more digital friends whose lives I know about and for whom I care deeply than I do “in person” friends. Such is the age in which we live, with technology making it easier for us to meet and share and grow together.
Sure, I could list all the Apple products sitting here before me, or in my back pack, or at home. But I’d rather list the friends I’ve accumulated BECAUSE of many of these products and the type of user-friendly appeal they provide.
Did Steve Jobs literally turn me into a speedy Vegan? Well, no, not directly, but he sure had a hand in it. Am I sad he has passed from this life? Yes. Am I happy for the life that I have thanks to his life and achievements? More than you’ll ever know.