RABBIT LAKE, ALASKA, 1993 I awakened at sunrise in a cozy sleeping bag in the Alaskan wilderness. It was -14 degrees out and I was 100 kilometers and 24 hours into a 160 km snowshoe race on Alaska’s Iditarod Trail. It was February, the dead of Winter, and I was hungry. This was a problem.
“Epic” is defined as “heroic; majestic; impressively great” and “of unusually great size or extent.” To live on the endurance path is to live in search of epic experiences. What does it mean for a ride, a run, a swim, a ski, a paddle, or other type of athletic endeavour to be epic? Here are
Regardless of sport, all athletes must cross metaphorical rivers which represent the one experience, the one feeling, the one thought, the one focus of awareness that is central to every athlete’s experience: the pain through which we must all suffer. For to be an athlete is to know pain, and through pain we know suffering.
For my entire career, I have seen people get into endurance sports, quickly make the jump into ultra-distance events and training, then pile on the miles and the finish lines, only to wind up back on the couch, never to be seen again within a few short years. That’s a long sentence describing a short
Ask any average cross-section of the populace whether they are “an athlete” and few will respond in the affirmative. However, many will explain that they are into running, skiing, cycling, or backpacking, as if those pursuits were neither athletic nor integral to their “real life.” Instead, most people compartmentalize life, separating athletic pursuits from personal