Thursday, January 31, 2008

Overcoming Adversity

Isn't it funny how when things are starting to go well that life throws you a curve ball? It never seems to fail. For instance, you're saving money for something cool and bam, your transmission goes out on your car causing it to catch fire. Or you start dating someone cool and hot only to find out that they're on 5 kinds of anti-depression and bipolar regulating medications! Can you say R-E-D-R-U-M?!

That brings me to my dilemma. I recently got invited to the Barkley 100
Put together a killer training program and kicked it off like a champ. Things are going great and then bam, I throw my back out during a routine lifting session. Ok, can't walk for a couple days and I'm bed ridden in a fetal position. Finally better and I jump back in. Step it up, things are going awesome, bam, I crack a couple of ribs playing capture the flag with kids. Don't even ask.

So today is a big training day. I had planned to leave my place around 8 PM tonight and take off to the woods. My goal was to drive to seven peaks around San Diego and run them all. Start with Cuyamaca Peak, then Viejas Mtn, El Capitan, Cowles Mtn, Iron Mtn, Woodson Mtn and finally Black Mtn. All this continually with no sleep. Sounds like a good time, right?

It did, but that's where the cracked ribs come into play and there's my dilemma. Ok, it hurt's to breath, sleep and bend over. I'm thinking I should probably wait until I feel better. Then it hits me. What would John Wayne do? Actually I ask that all the time. He would drive on. No whining or crying. Plus I've now decided, I can't think of a better way to train for the world's toughest running event that breaks the world's best runner's bones each year than to do it all ready broken. I'm starting to realize that my cracked ribs may actually give me a training advantage. Anyone can train healthy, now do it when you're broken.

Maybe life is actually fair. Maybe it throws these curve balls at us not to keep us down but to pick us up. Wow, in just a short amount of time I was able to turn what looked to be an excruciatingly painful experince into an incredible opportunity. I just hope my ribs are as understanding.

Life is short. Play hard.


Jim said...


Sorry to hear about the cracked ribs. You are a tougher man than most to carry on under these circumstances.

This is why I love the ultra world, even if I'm a newbie. Its always you against yourself and thats the toughest battle we all fight.

The article was very inspiring. Keep us all posted as training develops. You know that folks will be rooting for you!

Cheers, Jim.

janet said...

Brick walls are there for a reason - that let us prove how badly we want something. Take care of yourself and hang in there.

Duke said...

You are so right Joe. Challenges only allow us to better savor our victories. Keep it up, man!