What’s Next?

…Back when I was playing baseball, my idea of a long run was First to Home. My idea of a long run was having to chase a fly ball down in the left Centerfield gap. —Eric Byrnes

For a professional athlete the prospect of retirement is quite a different experience than it is for the rest of us. Former major-league baseball player Eric Byrnes has been able to combine his knowledge and experience of the game into a successful career as a studio analyst on the Major League Baseball Network.

But what about the body? How does a pro athlete transition into a less active lifestyle? Tennis, golf, and beer-league softball may appeal to some people but Eric has chosen a different path: Ultra-marathon running.

Mr. Byrnes has challenged himself to become the first former mainstream professional athlete to complete the 2016 Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run. The race takes place between the towns of Squaw Valley and Auburn in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains. Facing 18,000 feet of elevation gain and 23,000 feet of descent, the physical and psychological limits of each participant are put to a grueling test. At the end of the day what is the reward? A silver belt buckle for those who finish under 24 hours.

Inserted below is a trailer for a documentary film about Eric Byrnes and his journey of inner discovery.

It’s not about the prize. It has nothing to do with the reward, the reward is a process. What drives you? What motivates you? What gets deep inside you and let’s you know that you’re alive?

May the wind be at your back,

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  8 comments for “What’s Next?

  1. December 13, 2016 at 11:53 AM

    What’s next is a question I’ve been trying to answer this entire year. This May was the end of one goal and the beginning of another. It’s exhausting for us mere mortals. This guy’s story is inspirational. I’m no athlete, but I can appreciate the effort it takes to channel mental energy in positive ways. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • December 13, 2016 at 1:41 PM

      You are very welcome, Stephanie. He is an inspiration and he’s as real as full moons and rising tides.

      Did you land a post-grad gig?


      • December 13, 2016 at 1:43 PM

        Not yet. Still searching. 2017 is going to be my year!


      • December 13, 2016 at 1:47 PM

        Good for you. Best of luck in finding your calling.


  2. December 13, 2016 at 10:01 AM

    Inner discoveries, journeys and reinvention — I’m all for that, at any point in life, Allan. :). What drives me? The people I love and who love me back and my insatiable need to learn constantly.


    • December 13, 2016 at 10:48 AM

      I can identify with your inner drives, Brigitte. Thanks for taking the time to comment.


  3. December 13, 2016 at 5:16 AM

    Having been something of an athlete for many years, I can understand just a bit the challenge of retiring. For a professional, the challenge is not just giving up the game you love, but the change is recognition, adulation, etc. I admire those who can do it gracefully and then find new goals and I admire as much or more, those who can do these things while playing a game that makes people view them as idols, more than human! I’m afraid there are far too few.


    Liked by 1 person

    • December 13, 2016 at 10:47 AM

      Thanks for your comment, Janet.We have been watching Eric Byrnes and his involvement with the Tillman Foundation at our local Independent League baseball games.- each summer. He makes a commitment and gives it his undivided attention. No “phoning it in” for this guy. His attitude and example go a long way to making up for the Prima Donnas out there.

      Liked by 1 person

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