“Finally after descending Boyle’s Bump, I was back on the fire road and on my way to my first 100 km and FINISH with a time of 14:40:00. I was 45th/111 that finished (147 started the day).” – Excerpt from my Bandera 100 km Race Report
Why do these words within my race report feel so hollow to me?
The finish. The result. Is this not what we are all after? I am not so sure.
The brief set of words almost felt like an insult to the day-long experience.
Written word is one form of limited expression we use to try to communicate an experience or thought. So I took a look at my race report and the words within it.
Total word count for the entire race report: 2766
Total word count for the result description: 37
The result description accounted for a mere 1.3% of the total report.
I think this 1.3% accounts for a pretty accurate assessment of its value for the duration of this ultra trail running event. Don’t get me wrong, I am 100% grateful for the finish but the juicy nectar, the drip down your chin kind of stuff, was in the 98.7% prior to the finish. The experience. The journey.
You can even step outside of the race and reflect on the months and hours preparing for an ultra running event. The running, weights, core work, stretching, massage, mental preparation, cross-training, tweak management, etc, etc, etc. Yes, the journey.
What Are We After?
The belt buckles, PRs, finish times, awards, are all things to be grateful for when we receive them, but they will come and go. In a world (friends, family, outside observers) where results are often all that matter, we can be challenged to see through this illusionary concept.
Beyond the small talk, I feel we are really yearning for the experience, the journey. When we truly talk or reflect on a particular ultra event, we talk about the challenges, the beauty, the personal breakthroughs, and various other moments of personal experience during the event. The result is more often a mere side note.
Maybe when I wrote and re-read my result description, I gave it a proper position of personal importance but felt some kind of confusion with this realization. Not completely sure. But damn, what an experience!
Embrace the nectar, the 98.7%. The 1.3% will take care of itself.
What is your personal relationship with ‘the journey’ and ‘results’?
Be active – Feel the buzz!
David – EnduranceBuzz.com
(Photo – Courtesy of Eastop)
Posted on 19 Jan 2010
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