Monday, June 15, 2015

The Journey of a Thousand Days

On our trip to Japan, we flew Hawaiian Airlines. (We love HA). The in-flight magazine, Hana-Hou, had an article titled Runner of a Thousand Days by Dave Choo.

It's an amazing tale of a Buddhist priest, Ryojun Shionuma, who lives in the mountains above Nara, Japan.

We meet him as a runner of the Honolulu Marathon. Although he has never run a marathon, he has completed the two most difficult tests of the Shugendo sect of Buddhism to which he belongs (Shugendo literally means, 'the path of training and testing'). The first--considered the hardest--is the Omine Sennichi Kaihogyo. It means, 'One Thousand Days trekking on Mount Omine.' It isn't a thousand continuous days as the trail is only open from May 3 to September 22. But it is continuous in that it is every single one of those days for the roughly nine years it takes to complete the thousand days. Completing this daily, thirty mile hike for this test of strength and endurance is equivalent to circling the earth one and a quarter times and only one other person has ever completed it. Wow. I was excited about the day we walked thirteen miles; I can't imagine going thirty. Daily.

Shionuma also completed another feat which I won't go into but will just say people have died trying to complete it. You can check out the complete article if you want to read about it. But for today, I just want to focus on the daily trek.

Writing is hard. Doing it daily for a thousand days. Harder. (For some of us it seems impossible). But we can accomplish difficult things. He didn't give up when he got to the middle and nothing made any sense anymore. He didn't give up when the scene didn't quite work out the way he wanted. He persevered and put one foot in front of the other until the journey was done.

Don't give up, keep writing, keep putting one word after the other--even if it seems like drivel. Keep at it, write good words, inspire greatness, and like Shionuma, there is an end to your journey (but it's just the beginning of the next one).

Write On my friends!

*I neglected to take the magazine which was the April/May issue of Hana Hou and the return flight was in June. You can check it out, but the article about Ryojun Shionuma didn't have a link at this posting (the link above is to another blog where the complete article is posted).

* Image from:


  1. That is absolutely amazing. I read the other article too--just incredible. It makes writing seem easy ;-)

  2. Well, I would much rather write than trek any day. And yet . . . Maybe it will take nine years to produce another book. Yikes.


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