That FULL quote goes something like this: “You’re better than you think you are and you can do more than you think you can.” (Ken Clouber – founder of the Leadville Race Series)
Today as I sit – with major tired-head – and type this, I know this to be true. I got to see it in action yesterday as I watched some of my fav people attempt to cross the finish line at the Leadville Trail 100 in less than 12 hours to earn the silver belt buckle. There were many obstacles – other than the obvious 12,000+ feet of elevation – to overcome. And truly, I would guess, the thoughts and doubts would have to be the biggest obstacles of all.
Well, 3 of the 5 we were watching beat the clock…and the demons in their heads telling them to quit w/every single pedal stroke. All 3 – amazing stories on their own. Pat – racing for his family in honor of his brother passed away too early and rode up the red carpet ahead of his pals. (10:47 – he killed it!) Todd – fighting back from a tough DNF (well…he DID finish actually in the most dramatic finish ever – in the dark w/police lights flashing and a rush to the med tent) last year. You could read his eyes (despite the furry beard) that he had to get even w/that course…and he did. 11:09 – buckle.
And then there’s my guy, Brent. He had lofty goals to better his time by almost 2 hours. He knew he could do it. At the first 2 stops he was on track, but the race got the best of him and by mile 60 he knew the new goal was to FINISH in less than 12 hours. He fought thru cramps (new prob for him) and had that “crazy guy” look for the last 40 miles…but he did it. He rolled across the line w/the kiddos running alongside him.
Truly tho – this race (and we’ve been to a lot of races) is not just about the racers…it’s an epic event of endurance and determination that is contagious…and overwhelming. I’ve never ever ever been to a race where spectators and racers alike all seem to be on the same “team”. In fact, at 60 when we were crewing Brent – a guy standing beside us helped Brent w/his salt tabs and get his jacket off while we tried to pull off his leg warmers. Team. Unified goal. Cool stuff.
And all the friends/family who came out to – not just cheer – but actually be apart of something bigger than just a race. An experience. A blip on the lifeline that will leave you affected…somehow. We loved sharing the (LONG) day with each of them. And – all the friends following/encouraging via tweets, FB, and texts. I ran down 2 full cell batteries and have tired texting fingers today…but loved having so many share in the excitement with us.
I’ll tell you – there were so many life lessons and opportunities to see the GOOD in things out there – like the rider/MD who stopped to give medical aid to a wreck that was touch/go (back/neck injury) – and they let him past the cut-off for his efforts. The smiles/tears as they riders crossed the finish line – words cant explain that feeling getting to witness that. And, the upbeat words of the DNFers…hearing my bro Jon say, “I felt great for 30 miles…great day…” (he DNFed bc of broken finger and bike messed up) and seeing Bennett at the finish line waiting for his friends to come in. Watching the Bleasdell boys high 5 Coach Brent and give him a push off at 60. Seeing Maya hanging on her daddy and the medal around Braeden’s neck.
“You are better than you think you are and you can do more than you think you can.” We all are. I thank my God that I had a day where I got to feel/taste/see/experience that very notion. We can all do our own LT100 – in life it can be anything…not just 100 miles on a mountain bike. Watching everything around me – not just the race – reminds me how very true that statement is.
What a perfect way to wrap up the greatest vacation we’ve ever had as a family.