Daniel Chae

t[w]o 365

life, runDaniel Chae2 Comments
two miles a day, to 365

two miles a day, to 365


The year had just turned 2013 and we were still awake in the wee hours of the night. Alex briefly mentioned he wanted to run 365 miles this year, one mile for every day. I remember not thinking much of it as I was too occupied enjoying a glazed donut from Krispy Kreme. I quickly thought mileage wasn't too impressive but the goal was admirable.

           "One mile a day doesn't sound like too much..
            [huge chomp into half the donut]
            .7 miles a week, 30 miles a month. Not too hard."
            [savor donut, lose train of thought]



In a phrase, this year would be titled "Growing Pains": lots of discomfort and pain, but foundational and important building blocks.. a year of finding out what you're really made of as a person - how you're good in certain areas but totally suck in others - and learning that you can't continue acting like gdamn child anymore. In a word, "anxiety" would twittertrend towards the top. I don't think I've said the word "sorry" more in a year than this one. I don't think I've dropped the S-bomb in the short span of a week than I have in my entire life.

It has been a year of intense victory and intense failure. Some major life events this year include:

  • being forced to move out from our house after 16 years
  • quitting my job at Western Asset
  • losing $5,000 camera gear
  • recording an album with Phil Ek
  • RRN getting featured on the Wall Street Journal, NPR, KPCC, and PBS
  • playing shows with Noah and the Whale and Jason Mraz
  • watching the family car being impounded because we couldn't make any more payments

There has been much heartache, sacrifice, tears, anxieties, failures, correction, and brokenness have this year but accompanying these have been His grace and His mercy. I know and see that He is near and that this is what it takes to get through to my stubborn skull ("no matter what it takes, Lord").


I'm learning that the victories and accomplishments in life really don't mean much. They are like badges on a boy scout uniform. It's fun to celebrate and remember, but they don't make the man. Getting written about in the Wall Street Journal was cool, but who cares when your friends' families are going through health scares, car accidents, and your dad has left to work in Korea to support his children and your mom can't afford health treatment for her carpal tunnel, rendering her unable to play piano for church after 35 years? How good are you to your family? To your mom? To your friends? Would they show up at your wedding? At your funeral?

For me, juggling two full-time jobs and a music career might amount to some financial freedom and awesome experiences, but it left no time for others in my life. I've sucked as a friend, son, and boyfriend (thanks Michelle for the title). I continually hurt those closest to me and I suck at taking criticism and taking shots from others. I'm a fraud, and I know I've sucked the life out of others. I am mortified to see the person staring back at me in the mirror. I'm sorry. 


Throughout all of this, I've found a sanctuary and a safe place in running. This wasn't a "marathon" year so overall milage has been on the light side, but I was reminded that Alex was goin for 365. I quickly added up my miles this for the year and found that I had about 80 miles to go with about a month and a half remaining for the year. I decided to go after this goal. 

Screen Shot 2013-12-10 at 11.58.15 AM.png

The initial thought when Alex mentioned this goal at the beginning of the year was kaput. I totally missed the point: Steadiness is what this is after. Running a mile a day for a week is pretty easy, but extrapolate that out to a year, different story. Running a mile a day for the entire YEAR IS UNBELIEVABLY hard - serious props Alex. Steadiness is not flashy or fun. In fact, many times it's boring. It isn't shiny and the rewards look dull. But, I'm slowly learning that this is the long, narrow road that is less traveled. This is what I want. Running 365m won't make me a better man, but it's a start.