If you saw my basement "lair," your first thought might be that I am a serial trail killer. With bikes, race plates, tool chests, trophies, and water bottles strewn around, all that is lacking is newspaper clippings tacked to a board.
I thought that I was done with the Marji Gesick 100. After a brutal 2017 finish, I had missed the belt buckle time cut off once again. My 2016 finish was my best at 12:41. I told myself that two finishes and two wins was good enough and that I was just not fit enough to get it in under the 12 hour cut off. I wasn't getting any younger and there were other races out there to conquer.
But when the hundreds of MG FaceBook posts began pouring into my feed in the weeks leading up to the 2018 race and then with all the race day posts, the race began to call my name. I was ok with not having raced it this year; I needed the break. But Todd Poquette, race director extraordinaire, has a way of motivating those who want, who need a challenge.
Even though this race may be touted as the "hundred miler with the highest DNF race" and therefore perhaps the hardest single day mountain bike race, Todd and Danny, deep down inside, want each and every participant to finish. And they will wait all day AND all night at the finish to personally hand each finisher their token. The course is just straight up DAMN hard. 90% single track and super technical ... it never lets up. As I coined the term, "no free trail," even the descents will work you over.
As I will soon turn 50, I've been thinking about 2019 aspirations. I have had a very blessed life. For the most part, it has been relatively easy. But I believe that is because I have been raised to have a strong work ethic and that nothing in life is free. If life was easy, would it truly be worth living? I wonder about that at times. I think it is in our nature to strive and overcome the hardships. It gives us a sense of purpose. This is something that we as a society have lost as everything has become automated and can be had at the "click" of a button. That one can get disability and have the government take care of them for stupid shit is just outrageous. That one would rather have a "magic" pill rather than work on improving their lifestyle and health to resolve a medical issue is unbelievable. We are turning into Jabba the Hut.
Whether it be at work or at play, when I am faced with a challenge that seems out of reach, the feeling of accomplishment when I pursue it and conquer it gives me a high that no drug can even touch. That damn buckle will be my struggle for 2019! It may be hard, it might be just out of reach, but come hell or high water, I will fight the good fight and accomplish that goal that has been out of my reach the past 3 years.
I encourage each and everyone of you to seek a goal, an aspiration, that you might think be out of reach. I guarantee with hard work, grit, determination, and perseverance, YOU CAN OVERCOME the struggle and SUCCEED!
As David Goggins, former NAVY seal, ultra runner, and now motivational speaker says, "When your mind tells you you're done, you are only at 40%." You have a reserve that is bigger than what you think. So embrace the discomfort, embrace the suck, and destroy your limits!
|To Be Continued ...|