Tiny #2: Good Advice for Whatever Ails You

Does this ever end? http://zoomquilt.org/ Sort of gives me vertigo.

More urban exploration in Detroit: http://www.theatlanticcities.com/arts-and-lifestyle/2013/10/hunting-detroits-masterworks-architecture-they-go-extinct/7214/

“13 pictures of crazy goats on cliffs” http://twentytwowords.com/2012/01/11/13-pictures-of-crazy-goats-on-cliffs/ Indeed. And finally a post that made my week; if you only read one thing here, read this: http://www.nczonline.net/blog/2013/10/15/the-best-career-advice-ive-received

I was sitting on the edge of the bed, sort of freaking out at what had just transpired. I was certainly tired, but I wouldn’t be able to sleep.

“Is there something I could have done differently? Should I have seen warning signs earlier?” I asked.

“No. Things happen and we’re adjusting all day long. There are times where we just adjust too far in one direction,” replied our crew chief Matt Nelson, with the matter of fact he always exudes. This is the Badwater 135, and we had just brought our runner the 39 miles out of the basin to Stovepipe Wells, across areas infamously named Furnace Creek and Devil’s Cornfield. While I managed the van and provisions for the team, things became impossibly hot and it was decided as a change of scenery, I would pace the last four miles of this stage. All of this was new to me and I was nervous, but I found myself supremely ill-prepared for the muscle spasms and cramps that overtook our runner’s calves just two miles into my watch. He literally collapsed on the pavement right in front of me. It took us more than two hours to rehydrate and rehabilitate him to a point where he could continue. All the while, there was much screaming and pain; so much that I’m not sure I have the words to recount the situation correctly.

Throughout the agony, I worked feverishly to restock and reorganize the van. I helped where I could and I was amazed at our crew chief and his ability to turn our runner around - he is military, and teaches survival training, so he knows this stuff and it shows. It was 12 hours into the race when our runner set out again from mile 39, with 96 more to go, and he looked like a completely different person.

Our shift for the day was done; we would reconvene in eight hours to take him the rest of the way into Mt. Whitney. I couldn’t bring myself to not wear my favorite pair of shorts again on the next day, so I washed my race clothes in the sink, and I went to hang them out on the fence, where they would dry in less than 10 minutes.

“Is he going to be all right?” I said as I came back into our hotel room. I was very much feeling like a rookie.

“Look, in the grand scheme of things, this is just a setback from which we can recover. It is not optimal, but we’ll work through it. Unless you are physically hurt, the rule is always that you never take yourself out of the race. Ever. You may have to stop, you may have to rest, you may have to wait, and you may have to make radical changes, but none of those things signal the end of this race,” Matt said.

I think this is great advice for life in general, for whatever might ail you. Whatever it is, don’t underestimate yourself in the face of adversity; adjust and keep moving; don’t take yourself out of the race. Ever.

Our runner finished 30 hours later.