Walking the Fine Line

Blog Update #17


Two Bays Trail Run 56km

It’s been over 4 months since my last blog update, and a lot’s happened since. We’ve properly come out of the CovId-19 lockdown, K2 has been summited during winter by Nimsdai Purja (congratulations!) Christmas happened, 2021 happened, Trump lost the election, I pulled out of my police application and I’ve been lucky enough to have raced 5 ultramarathons; 3x 50-60km races and 2x 100km races. I’ve been all over the state of Victoria; Wilsons Promontory, the Surf Coast, Mount Buller, You Yangs Regional Park and I’ve also been to Canberra and to Kangaroo Valley in New South Wales, all for trail and ultra running. I won my first 100km ultramarathon in the Wilsons Prom 100 and placed in 2 others (2nd at Summit Shoalhaven and 1st in NYE Rock around the Clock). I ran 3 ultramarathons in back to back weeks one in 40 degree celsius heat and the other two were 100kms. I swam my first successful swimming marathon (10km), I’ve improved upon last year’s ultramarathon times quite significantly finishing the Surf Coast Century 100km two and a half hours faster, NYE Rock Around the Clock 50km thirty minutes faster and Two Bays Trail Run 56km thirty minutes faster. I’ve been fortunate to have run these ultramarathons with some amazing people who are like minded but have their own unique stories and backgrounds. Hours upon hours of talking and running, hours of which I’m grateful for.

Now with all of that I’ve been working pretty hard, lots of labouring and pamphlet delivering so I can afford all these experiences. Combine that with 100km running weeks, 2-3 swimming sessions a week and 3-4 weight training sessions a week along with the actual races themselves and it’s been pretty flat out. That does not come without a cost, lack of sleep, lack of a social life, tiredness, fatigue, stress, these are all some costs and sacrifices I had to pay. Now with that being said I don’t mean to complain I wouldn’t have changed a thing and these are insignificant problems in comparison to the real life problems that far less fortunate people have. But my point is its not all sunshine and rainbows and I’ve had to put in to get out. I’m proud of what I’ve done but at the same time the more I do the more I realise that’ll it may never be enough in my own mind, I may never be happy or satisfied. I’m never fully satisfied, I don’t feel like I can call myself an ultra runner I still feel I lack the experience to do so and I still feel like I can push further and that I’m at risk of not reaching my potential. The more I do the more I question why I’m doing it and if I’ll ever be satisfied with my achievements, I enjoy it I think…. but so much suffering happens when your running these races and train the way I’ve been training. I’m a little scared of the unknown and what damage these races could be doing to my body, some part of me tells me it has to be doing some significant damage and I’m going to be paying for it in the future. With that being said even if I knew it was would I stop? I don’t think I would or could, so to that I ask have I become an addict? Like a cocaine user, I know its harmful but I’m too weak to stop? These thoughts and questions are constantly going through my mind but the immediate dopamine fix and satisfaction of a completed workout always wins out, I give in to my impulsiveness. On top of this I’m still struggling with guilt, guilt that I’m 22 living with my parents rent free with no career or future. I’m working odd jobs I don’t enjoy to save some money but also spend significant amounts on race registrations, equipment, hotel rooms, etc. Am I being immature and taking advantage of my parents? I must be on some level otherwise my conscious wouldn’t feel guilty. What happens if I get injured? I’m relying on my body for income, self worth and happiness. I’ve got no social life outside training, ultra running and work, no significant other and no education outside year 12, if my body fails me (which it will) I’m screwed.

On another front nothings happened with mountaineering, with COVID-19 international travel has been shut down for the foreseeable future so any plans to climb any mountain has been put on hold. I could and should be practising some rock climbing and rope work but my energy and time has been prioritised with ultra running. The plan was to attempt to tag Denali in 2021 in Alaska however it looks like 2022 is more likely. I’m hoping to be able to travel to Ecuador to tag some peaks in November but you never know with COVID-19. The other thing with these mountains is the cost, the rest of the seven summits is going to cost me $20,000 – $60,000 at a minimum!

Lastly I’m looking forward to what’s next so stay tuned; a backyard ultra, 4x 100km ultras in 5 weeks, an IRONMAN, a 100 miler and a 200 miler all within 6 months.

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