Leadville Reality Check
Pardon the vulgarity, but this moment was captured after a 10 mile ride ( from 11,000 feet elevation to over 14,000 ft), up Leadville’s famously painful Columbine climb. Normally us Virtus boys try to keep things as PG as possible, but given the nature of the achievement….I just couldn’t help myself.
I’d like for this photo to serve two purposes. Most importantly, I want this image to inspire all of you who seek to accomplish things greater than yourselves. “Toeing the line” is the greatest hurdle we must overcome to discover ourselves. It is a scary thing entering into an event knowing full well you will likely fail. I’m sure it varies from person to person, but i think that the last few minutes before a race begins are the worst. I hate standing there looking at the other 40+ racers who are all more fit, better prepared and ready to kick my ass.
In less than a week I’ll be “racing” in the Leadville 100. Over the last few days I’ve pre-ridden most of the course, and there is no question my attempt here will be an epic FAIL. That truth was made clear to me on day 1 when we climbed St. Kieven, Sugar Loaf and powerline. Day 2 at Columbine was the icing on the cake, and today’s ride was a cherry on top. As raceday draws near, I can’t help but feel an overwhelming sense of doom at the failure that lies before me. I simply am not capable of completing this course in 12 hours. In all honesty, I may not be able to finish it in 24 hours.
There is always one truth arising from any form of athletic activity. On raceday, posers will be revealed and true athletes will rise to the top. All those present will either witness your success, failure, weakness or inequality.
Think about this, though: The only people who see your “failure”, “weakness”, and “inequality” are the ones on the sidelines who didn’t even enter the damn race. So why would you care what they think anyway?
Think about this for a moment: Did you hear that Jim Davis recently wore a cheerleader uniform during a dirt-crit mountain bike race? I bet you did.
Next question… How did Jim finish?
Answer…Who gives a shit?
The man shows up in full costume, races like a madman, and then drinks beer and cheers for his friends/team-mates. People will talk about that day for years. Answer this: Would you rather have Jim on your team or some elitist d-bag who won’t eat bacon?? Personally, I’ll take J.D. all day long.
Today we climbed Columbine. It wasn’t easy, and at times I thought the pain would never stop . In the end, the view was worth the pain.When we stood at the top I noticed one very important thing: There’s another mountain right over there and it looks taller than this one… Hmm…maybe Miley Cyrus isn’t so full of shit after all.
I’ll race Leadville and it will surely break me…that’s just reality. But I will not break easily, I’ve tasted failure before and I welcome the knowledge it brings. Without failure I’d never know my boundaries, and without that knowledge I’d never be able to stand on top of a mountain with my jimmy in one hand and a middle finger in the air telling failure and doubt to fuck off.