By Arielle - 'The Swoosh'
Every time I crew, run or hangout at ultra races everyone always comes across the finish line talking about the different aid stations, and how nice and supportive everyone was. It’s the truth- getting through an Ultra without the support team would be a completely different experience. And here comes another running analogy… life is the same way.
A few months ago I decided to take on the challenge of going for the Guinness book of world records fastest 50K and 100K run on the treadmill. The reason I choose to do this was not for the records themselves but to run for MitoCanada (http://www.mitocanada.org ) I wanted to run for those who can’t.
This challenge has not been the easiest, it has been both a mental and physical roller coaster. I’ve learned a lot about myself and have found my comfort in discomfort on multiple occasions. Though, if its one thing I have truly gained a deeper appreciation for it would be my “sponsors”.
When I say “sponsors” I am not talking about the shoe companies, or the the nutritional products that help support my athletic endeavours, (although their support is greatly appreciated). I am referring to my true support team - my friends and my family. Ultimately, just like an ultra, without an aid station, training without your support group would also be a lot more difficult and I know I wouldn’t be able to be where I am without them.
For instance, your family. They may not always get what you do, or why you do it, but they are always there to support you and expect no hash tag or shout out on social media in return. At the end of the day the only thing they want in return is to see you smile.
My mom certainty doesn’t fully ‘get’ why I care as much as I do about running, but she’s always a shoulder to cry on or can crack a joke to make me laugh when I call her up crying. And then on the flip side there’s my aunt or my “second mom” who sometimes gets me more than I get myself- always knowing what to say when I’m stuck at an ‘aid station’ and need more of a caffeinated pick-me-up to get me going!
Then there are your friends or #teamunicorns. Your friends generally get you and your ‘ultra’ friends get your sport. We’ve all been through the up’s and downs, and have that ultra bond. But no matter what, your true friends are always there for you. Sometimes they don’t always tell you what you want to hear, but they tell you what you need to hear. Like when I call up To_scho (Tory) to complain that its hard and she just say’s “well no shit, running is hard."
Take a moment, slow down. Look back and ask yourself: who has helped me get to where I am today? Appreciate them, thank them and let them know they they have been a great contributor to your success. Life and running an ultra are both long journeys, and we are all out there trying to make the best of it. So be a supporter when you can and take the support when needed. And just like when you cross the finish line of an ultra and reflect on the aid stations, take a moment on occasion to reflect on some of your greatest supports in the ultra sport of life.