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“It is not about the time, it’s the experience”
Says Gordon Ainsleigh to me twice during the race. He wanted me to not focus on my finish time but instead to just savor the experience. He is a wise man, the founder of modern ultra-running and the founder of the Western States Endurance run. It is the first and most epic and iconic 100 mile event in the USA and the world 100 mile championship run.
My mom always said I was “pushing my limits” and that has remained a strong undercurrent throughout my life. Running a 100 miles in one day is much like life in a day. It is full of richness, ups , downs, and raw emotions.
Early on we all have big dreams and aspirations and we are full of optimism but as the years slip away most people never achieved the life they had dreamt about.
Life, as well as running far, is optimized with big giant audacious dreams but without preparedness to lay out a pathway to achieve them this just leads to disappointment and frustration. Many people don’t achieve their dreams simply because they have preconceived ideas on their limitations. They think some kind of talent must be required but it is not. Hard work and dogged determination still works.
Whatever you are trying to achieve will require goals backed up with discipline, consistency and a dose of patience. We know life is unpredictable and not always fair and if your dream is epic you will be operating outside of your comfort zone and likely to fail sometimes.
The key is to learn from those experiences. Lazarus Lakes says success is not the absence of failure, it is just the determination to not quit.
I knew the key to Western States 100 mile Endurance run was to not quit. Very simply, I would either make it to the finish line and succeed or I would fail. I have done #93 marathons and ultramarathons and 6 Ironman events and I have made about every mistake known to man so I’m familiar with failure.
And I knew I was likely to suffer more at this run than at any other event. There was going to be 18,000 feet of ascent and 22,000 feet of descent. In the first 4 miles we would climb to an altitude of 9,000 feet and then have to run through 12 miles of snow with wet feet. The day would bring blazing high temps in the canyons, followed by a river crossing, then cold temps again at night and then scorching heat the next morning.
By mile 10 I had slipped in the ice and crashed on my knee. It would hurt the next 90 miles. By mile 20 I had developed blisters and GI issues which I just had to deal with.
Successful ultra-running requires you to address your issues right away and be a problem solver. Pain and suffering can be great learning lessons in life. Running 100 miles is more than just a lesson in survival but an education on the essence of living a life well lived. It’s about dealing with our everyday challenges and persevering.
Most people fail because they just want a quick fix but they refuse to change their mindset. This is as true in healthcare as it is in running. People will do anything except change the way they think.
For me, the 7 year process of completing Western States was a personal journey of discovering who I am at my core. For 7 years I made training schedules, ran most days of the week, did about 10 marathons and ultras a year, worked on my nutrition, discovered my optimal weight and the foods that fuel me the best, and learned to be patient which has never been my strong suit.
People say ultra-runners get good at suffering but suffering is such a negative word. I have really just become very comfortable being uncomfortable. It happens when you are constantly redefining your limits.
I’ve always pushed my limits so over a period of 27 years of racing I just kept pushing the distances to see how far I could go and it’s been a very neat experience in my life.
I’ve learned you can always take one more step. You can always keep going. David Goggins says can’t quit when your tired, only when you are done!
You have to train your brain with positive self imagery, positive self talk and visualization but you have to have knowledge and do some research as well. I had spent time on the Western States course, studied maps, watched every you-tube video and movie I could find and memorized everything about it.
The power of the human mind is limitless. If you want something bad enough you can achieve it. Running ultras separates out those who are motivated from those that are disciplined. Motivation comes and goes but being discipled is very liberating. Once you decide to quit eating junk or drinking sodas you don’t have to keep debating with yourself everyday whether or not it is ok to eat junk or drink sodas. You can focus on other endeavors.
Lazarus Lake, founder of the Barkley’s Marathon says, if your legs are shot your mind will carry you to the finish but if your mind is shot your legs aren’t carrying you anywhere”
Ken Chlouber, founder of the Leadville 100 mile run which is ran across the high Rocky Mountains between 9,000 and 12,600 altitude, says, “ running 100s is about changing your life. You are better than you think you are and you can do more than you think you can but you have to believe in yourself and commit not to quit. You have to be willing to dig deep. Going slow is not a character flaw but quitting is!” Pain is temporary but quitting lasts forever.
And I knew quitting was not an option for me but the steep mountains and rough trails at Western States eventually took their toll on my quads and my legs were toast. I was resigned to shuffling and power hiking. My stomach had been upset most of the day and I wasn’t taking in many calories so my energy levels were low. Sometime before sunrise I was so tired that I feel asleep walking and just fell over in some bushes. It scared the heck out of me but I was just so thankful for those bushes catching me.
The second daybreak came and I could see better and move faster. My eyes had grown tired of sorting through the rocky trails through a headlamp and we stopped at a creek crossing and washed the dirt off and I felt half human again.
Regardless of how badly you felt coming into an aid station, the volunteers were so enthusiastic I just had to smile. There were volunteers for each runner and I always had a volunteer greet me by name, help me figure out what I needed and get me going again.
But there isn’t anything like family and friends and mine were up early with me for the 5AM start of the race. Ultra- running is unlike the NFL or NBA as regular guys like me have a chance to participate in the world championship race and line up shoulder to shoulder with the pro runners and it was awesome.
Seeing my family at Robinson Flat at mile 30 was equally awesome as they had divided up duties and operated as efficiently as a pit crew at the Daytona 500. I kinda hated to leave good company so soon but it was getting hot and we were in the canyons, the most challenging part of the course.
At Duncan Canyon I saw my friend, the legendary Gordy Ainsleigh. He is one of the toughest guys you’ll ever met. He is also a chiropractor and gave me a quick adjustment, a pat on the back, and a big ole smile! He said very reassuringly, “ I will see you at the river crossing”. “Yes sir!”
At the top of Devil’s Thumb, a massive 2500 foot climb, very steep, at the heat of the day, I asked my aid station guy if I could sit in a chair for just 5 minutes. He put me on a timer, stood by me wearing his Western States belt buckle, loaded me with ice, food, drinks and encouragement and then kindly kicked me out in exactly 5 minutes. “ if you want one of these buckles son you are going to have to get moving”. No whining on the mountain so I struggled to my feet and disappeared down the trail.
Coming into mile 56 at Michigan Bluff and then at Foresthill at mile 62 where I met my family again and my pacer and long time adventure buddy, Paul Zani, was like the grandest of parties. The energy and excitement was so contagious and after changing shoes, gear, and a quick photo, we were off into the night.
But the 16 mile downhill to the Rucky Chucky river crossing was tough and humbled my hopes for running in fast. My poor wife, and chief of crew, was waiting there with Gordon Ainsleigh and Dean Karnazes, famous Ultra-runner and author of several books including my favorite, “Ultramarathon Man” at about 2 AM and they helped me and my wobbly legs get down the river bank and into a boat which rowed us across so we could climb 2 miles straight back up the mountain!
At mile 97 is No-Hands bridge which is very familiar to me and really a place where I felt secure that I was going to finish. It is followed by another 2 mile steep climb to Robi Point which is a paved road and the last mile of the race. It was lined with cheering crowds like the Tour de France! It seemed surreal after being in the remote mountains for the previous 28 hours!
Probably the best part of the race was the last mile, not because I was finishing , but because my son, Ian, had met us at the top of Robi Point and was there to run with me to the finish line around the track in Auburn. Priceless.
I don’t think it would be possible for me to ever forget the emotions of running across that finish line and getting my metal and buckle. It represented 7 years of sacrifices made by myself as well as my family for which I will always be grateful. I was so very happy we could all be there to celebrate.
And below is my favorite Bible verse Isiah 41:31 that I carry with me. It literally blew onto my feet one morning as I was leaving the YMCA and was vital that day:
“But those that hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint”
Crossroads Medical Group, PLLC walked/ran over 55.23 Million steps from 01/01/2020 – 05/31/2020. Employees had over 100 lbs. of healthy weight loss secondary to stepping during this 4 month period.
Dr. Jordan’s Team – “Too Hot to Trot” – 24.39 Million steps
Dr. Jenkin’s Team – “Baby Got Track” 16.48 Million steps
Dr. Kindred’s Team – “Red Hot Chili Steppers” 14.36 Million Steps
We are so proud of their dedication and hard work not only at the office, but during the step challenge as well.
We hope this will inspire many to keep moving and stay healthy. Crossroads plans on doing another “step challenge” with their employees on 09/01/2020. We will keep you updated on current events with our Crossroads Team! Stay cool during these hot summer months but most of all, stay healthy.
We are here to help you with your medical needs. Please don’t hesitate to reach out. www.crossroadsmedicalgroup.com 615-672-7122.
Dr. Jeff Kindred talks about the tenex procedure along with other other orthopedic sports medicine issues with host Max Cook.
Now you may be wondering what foods contain Vitamin C? There are the obvious foods that include oranges, lemons, limes, and other citrus fruits but there are plenty of other fruits and vegetables that contain this beneficial vitamin. Other foods that contain high amounts of vitamin C are: kale, parsley, kiwi, pineapple, strawberries, brussel sprouts, and even broccoli. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin C is 75-90mg per day and just 1/2 cup of yellow bell pepper contains 137mg of Vitamin C!!
Guess what? The month of March is National Nutrition Month! As spring and warmer weather starts our lives typically get busier, which often leads to more convenience foods, fast food, and less than healthy options. It is important to remember the importance of nutrition as the “madness” of your schedule and daily lives tries to take over.
The best way we can help ourselves make better choices during the busy week is to plan ahead and be prepared! Planning meals ahead of the week can be a huge time saver and can keep you from making poor decisions to feed your gnawing hunger. Consider getting with your family and deciding together on what meals you like to have, shop for the ingredients, and set aside a small amount of time on the weekend to prep and plan as a family for the week ahead!
Nutrition plays a vital roll in our day to day life so it is important that we give our body what it needs in order for you to be able to get through the busy days and keep us healthy! The risk factors for adult chronic diseases, like hypertension and type 2 diabetes, are increasingly seen in younger ages, often a result of unhealthy eating habits and increased weight gain. By taking steps to eat healthy, you’ll be on your way to getting the nutrients your body needs to stay healthy, active, and strong. Nutrition is a huge part of your life and can have a serious impact on your health so make sure to take the time and make it a priority !!
Happy National Nutrition Month
Here is a recipe you can enjoy during March Madness games that is both healthy and delicious! Also, it’s green to help you celebrate St. Patrick’s day. Lucky you !
Ingredients- Greek Yogurt Guacamole:
- 2 ripe avocados
- 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
- 1 lime juiced
- 1/4 cup cilantro chopped
- 1/4 cup red onion diced
- 1/4 cup tomato diced
- salt and pepper to taste I did 1/8th teaspoonInstructions
- Mash the avocado in a bowl. Carefully fold in the greek yogurt and lime juice. Once it’s well combined fold in the other ingredients. Salt and pepper to taste.
As we begin our journey into 2020, Crossroads Medical Group, PLLC has made a personal commitment to Health and Wellness. We believe that Health and Wellness is not just for our patients and their care but that as Providers and employees of CMG, we should be committed as well.
Health and Wellness is related to social, emotional, spiritual, occupational and dietary factors. CMG believes that if we remain active, many Health and Wellness concerns typically improve as well.
Crossroads Medical Group is currently doing a “Get Fit” contest for all of our employees and providers that are led by our wonderful physicians. The Physicians of Crossroads Medical Group, love a little friendly competition. Dr. Jordan and Dr. Jenkins are avid runners and Dr. Kindred is a cyclist.
Crossroads Medical Group is competing for steps each and every day whether it is through running, cycling, swimming, aerobics or just stepping. They continue to move in the right direction with 90% participation and commitment from employees and providers. The contest began January 1st of 2020 and will continue through the end of May 2020.
You might ask how our physicians determined what employees would be on their team? The answer would be that they took the fair approach and drew names. Don’t let that fairness fool you, they are very competitive and are constantly trying to find the winning edge for their team. Each participant’s steps are being tracked by a fitness tracker as well as an app to keep up with individual as well as team calculations.
With approximately 10-15 employees on each physician’s team, the stepping has begun and the races are off to a great start. You might see providers stepping while at their computers and employees walking on their lunch breaks whether inside or outside the office. All teams have come up with a “team name” and each participant a nickname. The competition is actually pretty fierce as the Physicians are just trying to get the “one up” on each other, the other employees and providers are constantly trying to stay a step above the rest.
CMG would love to hear which team nickname you think belongs to which physician’s team:
(Dr. Jordan, Dr. Kindred and Dr. Jenkins)
- Red Hot Chili Steppers
- Too Hot to Trot
- Baby Got Track
Please comment with your votes!
We promise to send you regular updates on the Crossroads “Get Fit” contest. We have to warn you that the winner changes from one minute to the next.