Record Setter on Goal Setting

By Lois Traub West, Director of Civic Engagement

Fourth and fifth graders in Dan and David’s JU-C classroom have been learning all about setting academic and behavioral goals for themselves. Today they met someone who embodies the spirit of goal setting and accomplishment – Chris Solarz, a serial world record setter in tests of extreme endurance. Chris has run more than 200 marathons and ultra-marathons (60 hours plus!) in 50 countries around the world and on all continents. He has held several Guinness records.

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Students were prepared with lots of questions for Chris, who generously spent about an hour in their classroom. When asked how he trains, he explained that training was part of his daily life - he runs home from work everyday, he runs when he pushes his children in a stroller to school, he runs two hours a day. To the question “Do you have a mentor who inspired you?” he spoke about 19th-century polar explorer Ernest Shackleton, whose middle name his son bears.

Some questions – such as “Why do you do things like this?” - were met by a puzzled but thoughtful look on Chris’s face and the response, “I don’t have an answer for that.”