Real Life For Us Wierdos!

By Smilin' Man (of Badwater) Adam Bookspan, 1998 and 1999 Badwater finisher, current racewalker record holder

Greetings to my fellow Ultra/Extreme/Crazy People!

Most of the time, we all keep connected through competing or by direct communication, or by relay e-mail (we all should thank the specialist in this field: Badwater Mayor Ben Jones!). Usually we relay adventure/race stories, but I wanted to send something more on a personal note. This past year has been such an amazing year for me, adventuring, racing, climbing.... the works. At the same time, this past year has seen the complete collapse of my personal life. Without going into specifics, I did want to pass along something that has become very important in my life: a way of seeing more clearly through hazy and confusing times. Don't worry! This is not anything religious, cult-related or New Age. It works for me, so I thought that I would pass it along.

Personally, I do long distance (real long) in my training and competing. When I need to sort some things out and try to "see" my way through the haze, I go for a run. I do not go out to train and I leave my watch at home (VERY difficult for me). I push through that first wave of pain and get seriously into the endorphins. After a while, I get past the endorphins and the pain; then I enter a very special place. It's when the miles and the hours seem to fly. By the time I'm in that state (a demented smile plastered on my face), my brain has completely shut down. That's the time when I can truly listen to my heart and gut feelings. When I am completely honest with myself and listen carefully, I have always found my answers. For what it's worth, I have found that our heart and guts should LEAD our lives and our brains are there to work-out the details and logistics. Most people don't/can't/won't do what we all love to do. Since we are such a small group, I thought some of you might find this helpful. Because of what we do, our lives are always interesting and on the edge; this doesn't mean it's always easy. I wish all of you All the Best in your pursuits and your lives. Enjoy the Journey!