It's February 11th, 2020. I turned 51 today and I feel a million times better than I did at 25. I’m not a big birthday celebration guy, but I thought it was a good day to repost an updated version of something I posted before:
That’s me in this photo, 16 years ago, running a 200 mile (333km) non-stop desert race, in a sandstorm.
It was my 4th ever footrace, a year after I started running. The Trans 333 took place in Niger, Africa that year, 2004. Just months before, I ran my first ever running race, the Yukon Arctic Ultra 100 miler. When I stood on the start line of the Yukon that February, I didn’t think I had any chance of finishing. It’s a long story, but in short, not only did I finish, I finished 1st! I crossed that finish line, honestly, in complete disbelief that I made it to the end...on my own two feet! But winning?! Impossible!!!
I spent the first 30 years or so of my life underestimating what I was capable of, but that day in the Yukon made it clear to me that I, (and many of us) underestimate what we are capable of mentally, physically and emotionally. We are truly able to exceed any limits we think we might have.
I spent much of the 60hrs it took me to finish the Trans 333 alone, running and navigating in the desert heat, sand dunes and through two spectacular, starry nights. I had tons of time to think, and knew this was just the beginning of how much I had to learn...and would continue to challenge myself in ultras, and now on expeditions all over the world.
Fast forward to TODAY. I’m 51 years old, but I feel better then I did at 35. I’m happier then I was at 25 and I’m fitter then I was standing on the start line of the Yukon, even after all the beat downs I’ve taken from all these years of expeditions totalling over 14,000km.
In my 50th year I spent 18 unsupported days attempting to transect Kamchatka in winter. I ran West to East across Death Valley, off road, over 2 mountain ranges in July, I ran across Baffin Island in the fall, guided an expedition in the Atacama with KapiK1 and I just completed a heinous solo Arctic expedition. (Photos in that order).
We ALL have the ability to do amazing things in our lives. Taking chances, stepping out of your comfort zone, ‘believing’ that you ‘can’, and doing things that ‘you’ choose, and not for what others will think. These truly are compass points for me now, and for the last 15 years. And for the next years too! 51? Just a number. 👊😊.
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