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  • Writer's pictureCJ Finley

Would you run 33 miles for your birthday? I did.

"CJ, why on earth would you run 33 miles on your birthday?"

The simplest answer is this:

Pain is the greatest teacher. 

But, of course, there's more to it than that.

  1. Creating Lifelong Memories: I wanted to forge an unforgettable memory with people I love.

    1. Halfway through, at mile 16.5, I paused in Downtown ATX with two close friends. This moment captured the essence of the day – camaraderie, challenge, and the urban backdrop of Austin.

2. Race Preparation: Several races are coming up in February, and this was perfect training.

3. A Day Unplugged: It was an opportunity to spend a day outside, away from the constant noise and distraction that phones and laptops bring.

Above all, my main goal was personal growth. I wanted to start year 33 with a significant, immediate transformation.

The Price of Growth

I knew growth would come at the cost of pain.

But here's the beautiful part: my willingness to embrace this challenge inspired others to join and push their own limits. And although not everyone completed the full 33 miles, the majority either ran their longest distance ever or revisited a past milestone.

I call this phenomenon 'growth in numbers.'

It's a powerful movement, a shift from individual achievement to collective empowerment. Ten years ago, my focus would have been on which bar to visit for free birthday drinks. Now, it's about uplifting myself and those around me.

And I am so damn proud of myself for making this transformation happen.

A Challenge to You

As I challenged myself, I now extend this challenge to you, regardless of the year you're stepping into: Do something that forces your growth and invite others to join. 

Let's make this our best year yet!


Today, I'm immensely grateful for my mind and body and what they're capable of. It's astounding how much we can push ourselves when we tap into our true potential as human beings.

So, if you're in the ATX area and up for some challenges this year, reach out. I'd love to join you on your journey.


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