What You See Is What You Get

Asheville, Western NC, United States
Now residing back in the mountains of western NC where I was born. I've spent the past 12 years mountain bike racing with many amazing riders all the way from Miami to the midwest. Mountain biking then turned to an endurance endeavor for me in 2002, competing in 12/24 hour, & 100 mile races. I found endurance was my calling , then in 2009 was introduced to endurance running through an amazing group of people in WNC & have since went on to participate in many ultra running events. I feel like the people I ride & run along side in the endurance world tend to be well rounded & driven by the better things in life, purely because you cant fake or be superficial in this endurance world. Everything I do in my life is to allow me the time & energy to keep pursuing my passion of adventure in whatever form it comes. I was gifted life & the gift of an active life by my still inspiring mother Nancy, whom I lost in 1999 to suicide. I've learned through my adventures & losses to have a blast, don't take your self to seriously, & keep going because there is no finish line. This goes out to you mom.

Friday, January 25, 2013

The Hearts Still Beating, Tales From 2012 & The New Year

Another year of inspiration. Always amazed how much life we can experience in one year. A very inspiring quote I carried with me every day this past year & into this new one comes from a dear friend Jeremi Mcmanus & simply goes," how are your relationships?" Via the different places I've got to live over the past 15 years I've created my family of friends. This group of friends has become my foundation, considering my blood family has dwindled to my father, a cousin, aunt, & uncle whom I all keep in very little contact with,mainly because of distance & just life happening. So my friends are my family now & who I depend on. As I look back on the accomplishments, cycling, running, professional, none of those hold any weight as much as the condition of my relationships with those amazing people in my life do. 
This past year I faced something harder than any race I've done, mountain I've run up, river I've been down. That was the fight I had to put up against the everyday darkness out to destroy the beautiful connections with people in my life. The biggest lesson in this fight, was nearly 14 years ago now. Cruel things in this world & general loss of compassion drove my mom to take her life. Loss is something I understand well, sometimes its our fault to what we keep & what we lose. Other times it is almost completely out of our control. This year for me, rather than sitting by & letting life & that darkness take some things from me, I chose to fight for things I love. These lyrics embodied that fight & what I asked of the people closest to me.

i need you to be the strength of widows and soul survivors
i need you to be as fearless as new mothers and new fathers
i need you to be the hope of hearts who lost true love
i need you to be the might of their first kiss
i need a purpose and i need a reason
i need to know that there is trophy and meaning
to all that we lose and all we fight for
to all our loves and our wars
keep breathing
keep living
keep searching
keep pushing on
keep bleeding
keep healing
keep fading
keep shining on
this is for the hearts still beating

I consider those closet to me in this new year to be those hearts that are still beating. I saw many of those people go threw losses last year & had to fight against those dark times. We were able to join each other through those times, live, love, heal, & see better days. This world can be dark & discouraging to no end, but I found inspiration & victory to overcome by joining those I love to fight it. So I ask myself today, how are my relationships? Well, there will always be hard work to be done & battles to fight, but I stand with some of the most amazing people I could ever imagine. Jeremi, Katie, Ross & Kristin, Tavis, Ian, Wiik, & the list goes on, you know who you are. All of you inspire me to no end & have kept me healing, searching, pushing, Loving, & I only hope I bring the same to you all. This new year will be the most inspired we've seen yet, let that fire burn deep in that beating heart.  This year there are no finish lines,

                          "If my Journey is everlasting and there is no finish line"

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Acadia National Park

If you've never been, get yourself here sometime in your life. What this blog is about, Inspiration, each & every mile of trail, mountain tops, & shore line is just that.  This place & its inspiration will bring you back to your passion, purpose, & make you remember who your are beyond everything you've surrounded your life with.  I've cried just running down the trail, this place has reminded me everyday of my favorite ideal. THERE IS NO FINISH LINE, while I strive to give it all I've got & love to win, my focus can be on the things that will not make me a better man, but simply waste my life & love. So as I head out into the woods again today & let it consume me,  I will find my purpose one foot in front of the other.
 " I see my path, but I don't know where it leads. Not knowing where I'm going is what inspires me to travel it."
                                                    Rosalia De Castro

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Guess Who in Ultra Running Magazine

 About a month ago I ran into Mark(new course record holder @ Mt Mitchell Challenge) & Anne Lumblad. As we were chatting about different running adventures we had been pursuing recently, he mentioned in the May/June issue of Ultra Running Magazine that I was pictured in the write up about the Mt. Mitchell Challenge. So here it is, check it out.

6/11/11 5th Annual Roan Mountain Adventure Marathon

My 2nd year doing the RAM, next to Linville Marathon my next favorite trail marathon. 28 miles out & back on the AT across the Roan Mountain Highlands, only a few natural bald mountain areas in the world like this & right in my backyard. Sultan puts this one together & sets up the support. To give you a gauge of the difficulty of this course, I was the second on to finish last year at 6 hours. Falling in the beginning of June makes this marathon extremely difficult considering your exposed on the balds all day & very little H20 on this section of the AT.  I managed to run & enjoy the 1st half with Adam Hill(Mad A) to the turn around Adam & I in the 1st & 2nd position. We fueled up at the aid station & I went ahead & started on the return 14 miles expecting Adam would catch me on our way back. I hit every little minuscule water accumulation & kept my head wet for those 14 miles. I kept looking back as I summited each bald, figuring I would see Adam hot on my heals, but no dice.  As I hit Round Bald for the finish, I turned the music up & finished with my best time of 5 hours & 40 min. Another breath taking & really hard day with my favorite WNCtrail running crew, always an inspiration.

Hardest Trail Marathon, Linville Madness!

One of the most beautiful trail marathons I've done, put together by Brandon Thrower.  The hardest organized trail marathon in the US right now, over 10,000 feet of climbing & nothing but beauty every foot. This video Brandon put together with an amazing Fleet Foxes soundtrack sums up the whole day. A unforgettable day with some amazing friends.

Monday, March 28, 2011

San Francisco Trip 2011

March 16th through March 23 I spent 7 days adventuring the magical city of San Francisco with one of the dearest friends in my life. Every year I adventure to the west coast for a week or 2 to gain some perspective & inspiration. My best friend Jeremi McManus has lived in the Bay area for many years now & has always been the most amazing host & guide each time I'm out there, to say the least. This past week was refreshing, inspiring, & eye opening. SF is hard to believe sometimes, mainly because a huge group of the population  in the city are there to 1st & foremost to live a quality life, as Jeremi would say, " DO YOU". At any given space & time while in the city, there was a good chance I was surrounded by a MD, a yogi, bike messenger, master chef, but somehow we all ended up at the same bar sharing drinks & expressing our like passions for experiencing the beauty this life has to offer. This profound likeness among every group I spent time with this week was always present & without having to share just one similar interest, we all connected in this wonderful place regardless of your bankroll, professional title, or one of the many other things we find our identity in.  I had many of these opportunities to meet a lot of the folks above mentioned because of my dear friend Jeremi M., who exemplifies this passion & surrounds himself with amazing people who are equally passionate about life. I try to make every post here about inspiration, though we can go it alone & learn things out there in the world all by our lonesome. The more & more I try to challenge myself physically & do crazy things in search of those magical doors of inspiration, the most inspiration comes from these connections with other beating hearts. I want this post to be a shout out to you Jeremi, for this is what your pursuit has been as long as I've know you, to accept people & their dark sides, to never say I'm wrong & you're right, in all building beautiful connections that will last a life time. I will take the inspiration from this trip to fuel the flame to keep, growing, changing, loving, pedaling, & running.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Mt. Mitchell Challenge 2011

At 7am this past Saturday, I lined up with nearly 400 other runners to race the 2011 Mt. Mitchell Challenge. This is a 40 mile ultra running race taking you from the town of Black Mt., NC 20 miles to the top of the highest peak east of the Mississippi, Mt. Mitchell & then 20 miles back down. I felt very prepared from all the marathon/50k runs I've been doing with my local WNC trail runner crew. I started out strong with the front top 10 guys, who were setting a blistering pace for a 40 mile ultra, but that's what they do & I guess what I do now. The 1st turn onto trail separated & strung everyone out, so I just chilled & set into my pace. I knew to descend 20 miles back down the mountain, I would need to save a little. The weather was balmy & sunny, rather than feet of snow as years before. I scoured  over the ice to reach the summit & turned around to come down feeling really good & ended up taking back 3 positions on the 20 mile decent, being fairly confident in my descending skills. All in all ended up slipping into 9th place with a 5 h & 41m finish. A beautiful day reminding my self to take in the beauty while pushing it very hard & so much inspiration from the runners I got to share this race with.