There's a few small white tents in the middle of nowhere in Iceland. The strong winds outside are pulling and pushing at the material and it almost sounds like the stitching might give way anytime soon. Inside are a few competitors, sleep deprived, hungry, sore and wishing for nothing more than a warm shower to make them feel human again. I'm updating this blog from a hotel lobby instead of one of these small white tents, well rested and fed, but wishing to be back in one of these white tents. Strange how that works.
I can hardly remember when last did I felt as alive as during the first day of the RacingThePlanet race in Iceland. The feeling of starting off on the first day with nearly three hundred other like minded individuals on a journey few can contemplate and even fewer people will actually find it in their idea of normal to enter. I cannot help but look in awe at my fellow competitors and their lust for life is contagious. Maybe these are the people Steve Jobs thought of when he coined the phrase "Think Differently".
It wasn't until we were back at the camp after completing the first day that my ITB got inflamed. The iliotibial band is a thick band of fascia on the outside of the knee, extending from the outside of the pelvis, over the hip and knee, and inserting just below the knee. In other words, if it gets inflamed you need to stop running.
I believe it was Charlie Chaplin who said that life is a tragedy seen in close-up, but a comedy in long-shot. True indeed. Am I disappointed for only finishing the first day of the event? Hell yes. Would I have enter the event even if I somehow knew that this would be the case? You bet. As mentioned by Donald Miller in his book, A million miles in a thousand years, the story isn't about the ending but about the story itself. Almost more than a year ago I started on this journey and come out on the other end, amazed by how bright the human spirit shines in the individuals I've met along the road. Not just in training for, but especially in the competitors I've met and the life stories they've shared. Individuals that can run with 8,5Kg bag over 42Km distance in less than 4 hours are as inspiring as the ones when told that you would have to carry what you bring along, thought nothing of it to include a bottle of wine in their backpack (not kidding,they know who they are)!
Would I have enter the event even if I somehow knew that this would be the case? You bet.
So what next? Who knows where a year from now might find myself and the other competitors. One thing's for certain, our idea of what is possible and normal will forever be changed. Here's to the crazy one's...