Last year when I was visiting family in St. Louis, my brother asked me why I choose to run ultra-marathons. (I was running a 50 kilometer trail run in just a few days.) I replied that I do them because I feel if I can accomplish those difficult things I choose to do, I can overcome whatever challenges come into my life over which I have no control. This is not a new idea, the whole field out outdoor education is based on this concept, but it is a difficult notion for some people.

I also know that I learn so much about myself and those around me each time I choose to pursue a challenge whether as an individual or as part of a team. I learn about my body, my mind and my ability to be flexible and overcome unforeseen developments.

I started True North Adventures for the same reason. It is a new and unique challenge (we celebrated five years in business in 2013) for me, but more importantly I wanted to encourage individuals and teams to take the same opportunity to learn and grow as I have in the adventure events I do. Past participants will tell you our events are challenging, fun and provide the opportunity for growth and reflection.

What’s the Next Challenge
I also told my brother that participate in these arduous races because I want to find out if there is a challenge that I’m not up to, that is just too tough. So, in keeping with that idea, this fall I signed up for the The Arrowhead is a 135 mile winter ultra-marathon from International Falls, MN to Tower MN in late January. Some times, things just stick in your head. I think I knew from the first time I heard about this race, that some day I would give it a try.

Anyone familiar with ultra-marathons knows that there are a whole number of things in and out of control of the runner that may impact his/her success. From unexpected injury or illness, to extreme weather to the failure of an essential piece of equipment. At this point my goal is to show up at the starting line prepared, healthy and equipped. Then I’ll give the race my best shot.

Along with other topics this winter, I will be posting thoughts from my training and preparation that I believe may be relevant to you or your team. I hope you enjoy the posts and that you find them useful. Your comments are welcome.