2016 was a year of event successes. And that’s great if you’re a normal, well-adjusted athlete.
I’m not a normal, well-adjusted athlete.
Too much success and I start to get lazy. Too much success and I start questioning the depth of the challenges. Too much success and I start looking for something greater, bigger, nastier, gnarlier. Something to beat me, and beat me down and humble my cocky ass like World’s Toughest Mudder did in 2015 as the medical staff pulled me from the course at 40 miles, hypothermic, dehydrated, and babbling like an idiot with IVs stuck in my arm. Three of ’em before I was even coherent again.
I left Vegas that year without any of the gear I brought, dazed, humbled, and fueled with a die-hard focus of coming back and completing 50 miles in 2016. I completed that 50-mile goal this year, with over 6 hours left, and now I want 75 in 2017. A worthy goal for a 46-year-old has-been refusing to be one.
As it stands at this moment, I have some solid event goals for 2017:
- Finish Survival Run Nicaragua (6% finish rate)
- Complete 25 miles at the Toughest Mudder qualifier event
- Go sub-7 at the Tortola Torture in the British Virgin Islands
- Complete the San Diego 100-mile footrace in under 24 hours
- Complete 75 miles at World’s Toughest Mudder in Las Vegas
- There’s something else gnawing at me. Something I feel like I have to do. Something I feel like I need to prove to myself. But I will only attempt it if I believe I am ready. It’s not to be taken lightly. Some close to the event think I would be stupid to try, …for a number of reasons. That just makes me want to try that much more. I’ll make my decision in June.
Back to Basics Training
Assessing my weaknesses
First, I’m going under the watchful eye of a trainer I trust. We will assess my weak links, mobility issues, and form limitations, and for six weeks, work on improving upon those foundational weaknesses.
Waking up early
I will wake up every day at 5:30-6:00 a.m. to start my day. Coffee, black. I will start the day with Special Operations Selection PT test standards of 2:00 max push-ups (goal: 100), 2:00 max situps (goal:110), pullups to failure (goal: 30), and a run (1.5 mile: 9:00, 5-mile: 31:00) Slow runs, fast runs, long runs, and shorties. Weekends I will allow myself to sleep in for additional rest.
To wake up early, I have to go to bed early. Not a problem for me, but needs to be noted for accountability.
Food and supplements
Meat and vegetables will be the foundation of my diet. Supplements will consist of proteins, BCAAs, creatine, maca and fish oil.
A solid focus on bodyweight movements first, then a variety of deadlift, squat, clean, and press movements with a constant focus on strength increases, and CrossFit metcons. Plus, a lot of my JungleCore stuff which looks a lot like gymnastics meets recess. Throw in heaping helpings of beach training, sandbag training, and forced suffering during multi-day disappearances, and I should be right where I want to be by June.
Then, turn it up again. Heavier, harder, longer, nastier.
Something I’ve never really addressed before, but through my experiences on the reality documentary THE SELECTION: Special Operations Experiment, my relationship with Rainbow Bright, and some dramatic recollections on my own, I have grown to realize that my emotional state greatly affects everyone and everything around me. It’s in my best interest to carve out a portion of my life to address the demons of my past to ensure a more healthy future. I’m committed.
Carry the Torch
Why? Why am I pushing myself to greater and greater challenges? Do I have something to prove? Am I running from something?
No. I am determined to carry the torch for masters athletes, and aspiring masters athletes, and masters who don’t yet know they can still be athletes.
I want to show people that you can do anything you set your mind to. You can complete anything you want, become anything you want, and achieve anything you want. It’s never too late.
Your past does not have to be your future.