I went down to Olallie Lakes, Oregon to prove something to myself. I spent a good portion of my life ‘weak’ -and I’m not just talking physically. I would overthink things, all that could go wrong etc, hedge my bets so to speak, and basically defeat myself before I started. This included putting myself out there socially, athletically, you name it. You can’t fail if you don’t try, right?
Trailrunning, which led to ultrarunning, has opened me to something more. I believe in this huge potential now. Not just in me but in everyone. Call it Stoke, call it passion, whatever, but as I watched my energy levels spiral upwards from couch-potato to what I am today -albeit extremely slowly and incrementally over the past few years- I wondered ‘What if?’ What if I went into my first 100 mile race without that same (probably recommended) conservative hedge-my-bets approach that had been the story of my life until recently? I realized that this meant a very real chance of failure in the sense of ‘blowing up’ and not finishing, but I wanted to give myself the chance to do something special…
Well I did blow up, causing myself some pretty scary medical conditions including going blind in my left eye for the last four hours of the race and partially into the next day, but somehow I hung on and won the race by two minutes.
I’m not sure I ever want to do this again -time will tell I suppose- but I am so incredibly happy that I followed my audacious dreams.
I write this because I know that I’m nothing special, and any of us can do what I just did if we simply want it bad enough and stop listening to those fucking doubts! And I’m not talking about just running here either; I’m talking about Everything.