Thanksgiving and Miami Prep

I've neglected this blog. And for that I apologize. BRKTHRU has taken a life of it's own, and it's exactly what I'd hoped would happen. BRKTHRU had to be bigger than Yusuf, because the story resonates with so many that never knew him. BRKTHRU will never lose that inspiration, that energy or that purpose that we found in him and his death.

Over the last few months we've run all over the country. Even outside of the #OhLet'sYusuf Running Tour, folks have carried the BRKTHRU flag from California to Texas to New York and back. It's been an incredible ride, and one that I can't wait to continue. Our two next big dates are in Raleigh on Thanksgiving morning and we finish the tour in Miami on January 25.

If you'll be in North Carolina over the Thanksgiving holiday, make your way out to the Skinny Turkey at Wakefield High. Though, not the most scenic run, it's one that Yusuf have ran over the last 2 years and the swag that comes with registration is very worth it.

As for the finale on South Beach, we're expecting big numbers. If you do plan on running Miami, don't forget to select BRKTHRU under the team menu and put in the 15MMBRKTHRU for our team discount. There will be more information on hotel arrangements to come, so please stay tuned.


- Shaffer

I Ching :: 3 :: Difficulty at the Beginning

This week we will look at I Ching 3. This hexagram indicates the way in which heaven and earth bring forth individual beings. It is their first meeting, which is beset with difficulties. The lower trigram Chên is the Arousing; its motion is upward and its image is thunder.


	DIFFICULTY AT THE BEGINNING works supreme success,
	Furthering through perseverance.
	Nothing should be undertaken.
	It furthers one to appoint helpers.
I Ching 3
Times of growth are beset with difficulties. They resemble a first birth. But 
these difficulties arise from the very profusion of all that is struggling to 
attain form . Everything is in motion: therefore if one perseveres there is a 
prospect of great success, in spite of the existing danger.

	Nine at the beginning means:
	Hesitation and hindrance.
	It furthers one to remain persevering.
	It furthers one to appoint helpers.
If a person encounters a hindrance at the beginning of an enterprise, he must 
not try to force advance but must pause and take thought. However, nothing 
should put him off his course; he must persevere and constantly keep the 
goal in sight. It is important to seek out the right assistants, but he can find 
them only if he avoids arrogance and associated with his fellows in a spirit of 
humility. Only then will he attract those with whose help he can combat the 

	Six in the second place means:
	Difficulties pile up.
	Horse and wagon part.
	He is not a robber;
	He wants to woo when the time comes.
	The maiden is chaste,
	She does not pledge herself.
	Ten years—then she pledges herself.

We are with you.




The Story of the Running Tour

It started as one race and built into a tour.

I had the idea (as did most of Yusuf's close friends) to build out a memorial race, that would carry his name for years to come. That idea is still alive, but there's much more to be done in these first few years of BRKTHRU and many more races to run for him. Thus was born the Oh Let's Yusuf Running Tour.


Oh Let's Yusuf was Yu's creation. A few years back, as we were plotting out our birthday weekends, both he and Travis had the idea to do something collectively with their weekends. Trav had Bondstock and Yu came up with Oh Let's Yusuf. In that spirit of celebration, we revived Oh Let's Yusuf for all races we run for him and will run for him, from here on out.

Each one of the races selected has a particular meaning for BRKTHRU - from the Navy-Air Force Half, which runs by my old apartment in DC (where Yu crashed many a night), to the Miami Marathon, which was Yu's favorite road race he'd ever run... but we want more race suggestions! We want as many runners and supporters as possible! We want to create a community of mental fitness that will last for years to come! Run with us!

The I-Ching :: 21 :: Shih Ho | Biting Through

Our BRKTHRU logo is inspired by the Taoist symbol for wind, an ever present phenomenon that is as rational and natural as it is surreal.  The structure of the symbol encompasses the I Ching dynamics:  a set of oracular statements represented by 64 sets of six lines (hexagrams).

The text (one of the oldest in human history) was re-interpreted as a system of cosmology and philosophy that became intrinsic within Taoist culture.  The I Ching was designed to describe all possible experiences, based upon patterns it must be able to adapt to.  This system animates a profound intuitive cosmology and metaphysical grasp of the human experience.

Today we look at I Ching 21: Shih Ho / Biting Through



Nine at the beginning means: His feet are fastened in the stocks, So that his toes disappear. No blame.


BITING THROUGH has success.
It is favorable to let justice be administered.

When an obstacle to union arises, energetic biting through brings success. 

As a rule, 'Biting Through' is something you do, not something that happens to you. It always indicates that there is a problem to be tackled, and usually you are the one who needs to get your teeth into it. The basic pattern of this hexagram, which you can understand at all levels from personal to social, is the presence of some obstacle to unity, like something tough between your teeth. It may be some deception or a third party keeping a relationship apart, or some obstacle such as self-deception dividing you from yourself: in all cases, it has to be bitten through to restore wholeness and make things work again.

We are here with you.

- David


The Beginning

Six months ago this week, we lost a great man. From Durham to New York City to Los Angeles and around the world, Yusuf's friends had the same question: "Why?"

One step further, "Did anyone see this coming?" The consensus was and still is, no - even from his closest friends. Therein lies the impetus for BRKTHRU. The attention to all parts of the individual, most particularly, the mind. Yusuf's story is unique in the dynamic of his spirit, but he is not the first and most certainly, not the last, to struggle internally and keep it hidden from his friends, family and most intimate social circles.

BRKTHRU is here to demolish the concept that there is a delineation between mental and physical fitness. In fact, the two are in many senses completely dependent on one another. Begin to look at your own mental health as you would the condition of your physical body. The mind can be conditioned and strengthened just as a runner's legs in preparation for a marathon.

Further, we want to create an atmosphere of understanding, compassion and fellowship that encourages all to pay attention to the mental, spiritual and emotional status of those within arms reach. Ask questions. Offer support. Own your role as a friend.

- Shaffer

Even the death of Friends will inspire us as much as their lives. They will leave consolation to the mourners, as the rich leave money to defray the expenses of their funerals, and their memories will be incrusted over with sublime and pleasing thoughts, as monuments of other men are overgrown with moss; for our Friends have no place in the graveyard.

- Henry David Thoreau