Guest Contributor: Brian Mister
Read Time: 4 mins
Streaking. That word has a very different meaning to me these days compared to my college days rummaging around the UNC Charlotte campus. My present day interpretation of streaking is to run at least one mile every single day. This time, fortunately, with clothes on. I’ve been streaking two full years without a single day off. I’ve learned a lot about running, grit, will, and pure love for a hobby turned necessity.
I started this little streak on a Wednesday, a day that has always been “running day” in my mind (thanks mainly to NoDa Brewing Run Club), but more specifically Wednesday, January 1, 2020. A friend sporadically proposed the idea mid-stride during a casual run that New Year’s Day and I’ve honestly never looked back. As we all know, 2020 was a bit of a curveball for everyone. Truth be told, I’m not sure I would’ve kept the streak going if not for the pandemic. I’m also not sure how I would’ve kept up with life had it not been for running. It became my one constant in a world that changed daily in a wave of unknown.
Throughout this streak, I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to play with running and find new ways to fall in love with the sport all over again. It’s now easy for me to find a “why” to each run which helps put a purpose to my pounding. Whether it be a calendar day run (Jan 1st = 1 mile, Jan 2nd = 2 miles, etc.), celebrating the weight of a best friend’s new baby (7.8oz = 7.8 miles), or running my mom’s age in miles (59 years = 5.9 miles), there can always be a “why”. For you Strava geeks out there, it’s also a fun way to change up your activity name each day.
Beyond the “why”, running has taught me a lot about life. When I run, I seek out ways to adapt, evolve and remain fluid. I seldom stop at lights and choose to run further down the street to cross at the next light or simply change my course completely. This approach has reinforced my belief that sometimes life is the same way. The route is seldom exactly as planned. This doesn't mean you can’t get to the finish line, just slow down, think about the problem and then execute your solution.
This hobby has also brought me silence. We were just fortunate enough to welcome our third little Mister munchkin (all under the age of 5) to this wild world and our house is a bit rambunctious at times. I absolutely love it, but there are times a quiet mile or two is welcomed with open arms.
There have been many runs where I use this silent time to converse with myself and “God” - I quote this because that concept can mean anything to anyone. This is simply a time to connect to your higher power or a lost friend or family member. I’ve found over the years, that this mental exercise takes practice and time to get “there”, but it might just be worth trying and trying again if doesn’t come on the first mile or the 10th run.
During this streak, I’ve been fortunate to PR my 1 mile, 5K, Marathon, and 50 miler distances, but more memorable for me … I’ve run a Half Marathon through 18 inches of snow, strapped shoes to my bike during a 5-day bikepacking trip to keep the streak alive, pushed our double stroller more miles than I can remember, and made so many amazing friends along the way.
A few more playful stats to give some perspective. As I write this journal, I am currently at 2,718 total miles and have averaged 3.7 miles per day. I’ve run 396 hours and 36 minutes which averages 33 minutes per day at an 8:45 min/mi pace. I have climbed 160,646 ft or the elevation of Mt. Mitchell (the tallest mountain East of the Mississippi) from bottom to top 24 times or once per month since starting. Lastly, and certainly most notably I’ve burned just over 2 million calories which can be offset by about 9,700 Sierra Nevada Hazy Little Things if you were wondering.
As much as I thought running was a part of my life before all of this, streaking has pushed this passion to new heights, and I sincerely wouldn’t change a thing.
Back to streaking. Who wants to join me in 2022? Reach out on Instagram and let me know if you want me to help hold you accountable … and vice versa. Happy running!
About the Author:
Brian Mister has been a leader and change maker in the Charlotte, NC running scene for the last decade. Among many other accolades, he started the NoDa Brewing Run Club, Race Directed events at the U.S. National Whitewater Center, was the Marketing Manager of the Charlotte Marathon, is a Lululemon Brand Ambassador, and along with wife Chelsea, created and founded the Around the Crown 10K - North Carolina’s largest 10K and one of the country’s most sustainable races.
Journal - I've Run For 2 Straight Years
Human Powered Journal
Writings and musings of an active lifestyle
Adam Bratton is the Founder and Head Enabler at Human Powered Movement.
Guest Contributors are more compelling in written word and life in general.