As I reflect on the experience of the Leadville race there are many emotions, feelings, and thoughts that filter through one’s head. And it is hard to write how one might feel after a race such as I just completed. My attempt at communicating the feeling is to attempt to weave a thread that shows itself across the answers to the following questions and that comes through only upon acceptance of vulnerability and openness to thinking differently. .
- Was it fun? – yes, it was a blast. The shared experience with my crew, fellow runners and volunteers was perfect and it brought to life the THPL community that we are all part of. There is no better way to spend time than with each other doing amazing activities in a setting like the mountains of Colorado with great people. This is what we live for.
- Was it worth doing? The years of training and preparation had me ready to go. And the race delivered – yes there was a lot of time and commitment to get to this moment but when I think of the “you can do more than you think you can” them– I can define no better way to have proven this theory – yes it was worth doing in spite of every challenging moment.
- Would I do it again? – The simple answer is yes, but it is the wrong question – the real question is “how do you want to live your THPL life?”. If you want to dig deep and find out more about yourself then you have a route there. Leadville was my way – you can choose your own way.
- What did I learn? - it has become clear to me that endurance athletics are truly about finding a way to reach deep into your soul and to see what is there. And when you get to that point do you find what you expected? Until you go far enough, orders of magnitude beyond the everyday, you will never really know if you have the grit, guts and determination to continue – to push beyond normal signaling and get to the goal. In the majority of modern day life we can actively live our lives in such a way that we never have to go beyond that which is hard…..and what each of us have is the opportunity to figure out if this is ok for us. There is no judgment associated with the choice, rather, it is question of what do you want to find out about life, yourself and what is indeed truly possible. And I can tell you is that after this race I can feel the difference, after 29 hours of running, with no sleep, limited calories, lots of pain and many moments of self doubt I found a path into my soul, to find a way to truly embrace the moment, to pull on an inner strength that I did not know existed, and to transcend the run such that I could pound the trail for 10 hours with blisters on my feet and still run over the finish line. There is really a difference felt, created and accessed if one chooses to reach deeper into this place that I found and although biased I would recommend giving it a try one day.
- What did I learn? On the journey I found out the true meaning of the words like, epic, monumental, and amazing. It is only through real experiences that we can get a true sense of the magnitude of an action or accomplishment. And from this day forward when I use them in my writing it will be done with the authenticity and experience.
Thanks for coming on the journey with me – I am sure there is much more ahead for all of us and I am confident that this moment will just be one of many great one’s on our path to THPL.
Loving life and feeling different about THPL and all that can be.
Joe – number 251