Tuesday, February 19, 2008

More on the whole athlete thing

"Okay - let's make one thing VERY clear. Talent is over-rated. To be sure, talent is what wins world championships. Talent is what makes Olympic medalists. But talent does not make you an athlete. Talent does not prohibit you from being an athlete. Being an athlete is about drive and perseverance and consistency and believing in yourself and suffering and a willingness to put it all out there knowing that you have to live with the results. I am not a particularly talented athlete but I believe in myself when I race, I put it all out there, knowing at the end of the day that I'm not always going to win. That I'm NOT going to be the best in the world, only the best that I can be." Brett, the most elite athlete I have ever met. The dude does these TEN DAY adventure races:
Adventure racing is a combination of two or more disciplines, including orienteering and navigation, cross-country running, mountain biking, paddling and climbing and related rope skills. An expedition event can span ten days or more while sprints can be completed in a matter of hours. There is typically no dark period during races, irrespective of length; competitors must choose if or when to rest.
So, there's usually a team of four and they start out, with a map and compass and little else but ~ 3 days worth of food on their back (and their climbing equipment). They usually sleep about 90 minutes per night, but they don't stop to pee. Along the way they rock climb, run (often 50 miles at a time and in fact during last year's race he ran a sum total of 250 miles), kayak, mountain bike, etc. - For TEN DAYS. These people are insane. Insane. Brett sat one night and showed Dana and I all the pictures from his race last year and gave us a lot of fascinating details - including that they pee while running (because, you know, it takes 2 minutes to pee and if you pee 10 times per day, after ten days that carves some serious time off your finish). And then on top of that you don't shower for ten days. Yummy. But of course, being the sicko that I am, I kind of want to try a 12 hour race someday!
The sum total of this post, however, is that today I give up the story that I am not an athlete. I can be, and am, anything I say I am. I am a badass at everything I take on, because I'm willing to not be good at something, willing to learn and train and perservere until I get better and better and better. And eventually, I'm either really good or partially good... but most of all I'm stronger. And I finish things. Yay for me.


  1. turns out I'm REALLY enjoying the privacy of this blog. I feel like I can tell actual stories. In the past I never would have put so many pictures of Brett up or included something from an email he wrote to me, but I like it - these are my chronicles, my history, and I like to look back and see those pictures. I like also to tell the real stories, not hide them all in shadows and shades...

  2. you are going to make sure it is alittle warmer before you decide to run without the pee breaks, aren't you?

  3. consuelo8:57 AM

    Hmmm, think I'd have to break down and take a few seconds to pee in peace and live with the consequences of a slower time ;)

    Never thought I'd run a marathon (as I sit here in the middle of training for #4) but I think I can safely say no 10 day adventure races for me! But the day you decide to do one, know I'll be your biggest cheerleader. YOU GO GIRL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!