Monday, February 20, 2012

The Note on My Wall

I’m not a frequent blogger and have refrained from further cluttering the already densely filled airwaves with yet another opinion and perspective. However, my friend Kimba has inspired me with her most recent post to put up my own (hopefully) inspirational note. Below is an excerpt from an email sent onto the ultra-list a few years ago now.  This is an edited version of the original post which I have prominently positioned in my work cube and on a wall at home. I try to at least look at it daily. Hope you find something worth remembering in the words:

you all know about the comfort zone.
that's where most ultras take place.
running ultras is all about staying in the comfort zone.
all our strategies revolve around staying in the comfort zone.
all our advice is about staying in the comfort zone;

"start slow"
"walk every uphill"
"dont take any chances"

for all the talk about exploring human potential, and seeking our limits, ultrarunners tend to play it safe.
they line up "challenges" they know they can finish.
and run them carefully well within their "limits".
we believe that success is never failing.

…success is about over-reaching our abilities, and living to tell about it.
sometimes success is getting your ass out alive.

true success is not the absence of failure,
it is the refusal to surrender.

you have to go too fast (you might blow up)
you have to get too little rest (you may break down)
and you have to start laps you might not finish (with or without making mistakes).

lots of people got it. those people started loops they couldnt finish.
they ran out of time. they got lost.
they tried to do something beyond their abilities and they did not succeed.

but they were not defeated. just knocked down.
(maybe fed a dose of humility)
they explored the twighlight zone and came back winners.
they got their ass in and then got it back out alive.

some people didnt "get it". they ran carefully within their abilities.
and never opened their map with doubt in their mind (and fear in their hearts).
they stopped in camp never starting that loop that could end up in hell.
or turned back before entering that section they might not complete.

they were not exactly defeated.
they just gave up.
surrounded by the opportunity to stretch & grow
to explore the "out there" they were afraid (in the end) to venture out of the comfort zone
and into the twighlight zone.
i was never a particularly talented ultrarunner.
i was not fast. i was not tough.
still i am proud of having achieved sub-24
at ultra-running's bellweather 100 mile distance.

i am prouder to have tried for sub-20...and fallen short.
running 80 miles at sub-20 pace and then blowing up
felt a lot more honorable than running carefully and breaking 24.
i learned more about myself. and grew more as an athlete and a person.

you dont have to go to [ultra-marathons] to "get it".
"it" is nothing more than putting something on the line
taking a chance and trying to do something you do not know for certain you can do.

there is no success if failure is not in the mix.

-Excerpted from a note posted on the ultra-list by Lazarus Lake

No comments:

Post a Comment