October 21, 2013

A New Frontier

I've been running for over three years now. Every time I go out, I learn something new. I've done 5K's, 10's, half marathons, marathons and ultras up to 100k. In my relatively recent running life, I've probably run 5 or 6 marathons and about a dozen ultras, which doesn't exactly make me a seasoned ultra runner, but I feel like I've been around the block a couple – thousand – times.

They say you should do something that scares you every once in a while. Something out of your comfort zone. This Saturday, I'm about to try something that's about three light years away from that zone.

This Saturday, I'm about to try and run a 100-mile ultra.

I feel like I know nothing about running anymore. I feel like my training has been so inconsistent and random that I have no idea what I can do or how far I can go. I feel unsure if I can chew all of that big bite. I am worried, nervous. To be totally honest, I'm scared shitless.

They call us virgins. Runners who've never crossed a 100-mile finish. Some envy us for the discovery we're about to make, others think we've gone batshit crazy and need an intervention. My soul trembles at the mere idea of the sheer distance this represents, and my spirit doubts.

But sometimes, for a short moment, a warm wave of something rolls across my body. I think it's hope. It's a dream, an idea that maybe, maybe if I stick to my goal and grind away, happily, mile after mile, some sort of miracle of endurance will happen.

I will be surrounded by the absolute best people in the sport, after all. I will cross the path of people who inspire me in unspeakable ways. My spirit is accompanied by roaming souls of legends, ancient blessings and benevolent thoughts for the four corners of the world. I'm a lucky man.

Saturday, I will draw every last atom of inspiration I have gotten from all of you, in many different ways. I will spend long hours by myself, connecting with the ones who give me the strength, energy and resolve to move me forward and elevate my will.

Saturday, I will follow the sun and the moon through a complete cycle in the magnificent desert, through moments of elation and despair, vitality and exhaustion. But no matter what comes my way, I will keep taking a step forward. And all of you will be with me.

I will keep going.

I'll see you on the other side.


  1. you are my hero Flint!!...go get it my friend....courage is not to be unafraid...i'ts to be scared to death but doing it anyway!!!!!

    you're friend,

    1. Ed, my friend,

      You are one of the people on this planet that inspire me to dream and live a life of adventure. Thank you so much for your kind words!

  2. Hi Flint,
    Beautiful reflection and courageous sharing through which I'm reminded of Teddy Roosevelt's words about daring greatly, posted below. I'm confident you will see yourself as one who is daring greatly. Knowing that you are doing so I am inspired to take the steps toward daring greatly. Some of those steps are taken on running trails, others in personal relationships, others professionally. Thank you for sharing your journey. May you run in beauty. May you run in peace.

    “It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”

    Teddy Roosevelt, speaking at the Sorbonne in Paris, April 23, 1910

    1. You make the world a richer place, Jugglin' Joe! I look forward to the day we get to run some trails and share some more conversation together, my friend :)