Thursday, January 08, 2009

I did it! I'm registered!

"I've always thought that risk-taking is an important part of what it means to be human." 

- Donald C. Johanson

Today, I wanted to share a little bit of my own experience about registering for my biggest race to date. I hope it inspires you do go for something big!

Hello Athlete-Adventurer! Thank you for submitting your application to compete in the 2009 Badwater Ultramarathon. This is a bold step you have taken and we salute you for the commitment it implies!” Is the email I received Monday after completing the long application process of the Death Valley Cup, a combination of 2 events in Death Valley California.

135miles run in July


508 miles bike race in October.

-Number of people that have completed the Death Valley cup since 1996: 15

-Crossing the finishing line in September would make me the second Canadian to ever complete this epic adventure!

With those stats, a lot of people have been asking me why? Why would you put your body through such pain? Well for me it is simple… I don’t want to wake up the next day and say  “damn! I wish I had ”

Think about the sense of accomplishment and personal growth you get from knowing you did something out of the ordinary, that you took a risk, or that you pushed your body and your mind further than you did the day before. Each day, we push our kids to accomplish something better in school or in sports and for some reason we think it’s ok for us to sit back and not do the same.

For me, I still remember the first time I ran my first 1km race. The feeling was like no other! I didn’t know if I could finish, I thought maybe I would get lost, finish last or I wouldn’t be fit enough and have to quit. I thought it was going to be the most difficult thing I would ever do and almost didn’t go. But I went, finished and succeeded. So, here I am 20 years later, a small town French girl that couldn’t speak English, had never run more than 1km, writing an essay to the race director of the toughest race out there on why he should let me participate in the Death Valley Cup! I started with not knowing if I could finish a 1km run to running 100mile + races. To be honest I am very proud of how far I have come and hope I can inspire others to want the same feeling for themselves.

Going big doesn't mean running across Canada, runing in the Sahara for days or go for the biggest race out there. What I meant is go for something that’s big for you. If you have never ran 5 km, Go for it! If you have never been on a plane, go fly! You’ll hit your pillow that night having done more, taken a risk that you didn’t do the day before and being proud of yourself for doing it… 

Isabelle Julien

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