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Saturday, September 23, 2023

Ultrarunning as a Soul Sport – iRunFar


AJW's TaproomEarlier this summer time, I used to be visiting with a bodily therapist buddy of mine up in Flagstaff, Arizona. Ryan Whited, a longtime mountain athlete and passionate outdoorsman, was sharing tales about his profession in bouldering, his sport of selection. Figuring out little or no concerning the sport, I discovered myself asking tons of questions and at one level Ryan stopped me and mentioned, “AJW, bouldering is a soul sport.”

Within the days that adopted, I discovered myself reflecting on Ryan’s remark. So far as I may inform, from Ryan’s viewpoint, a soul sport is one that’s not essentially aggressive. Somewhat, it’s a sport, in and of itself, that exists for the easy act of participation. A sport that, whereas additionally constructing the physique, feeds the soul. For Ryan and plenty of others, there’s extra to his outside pursuits than competitors.

Rising up, I spent most of my summers on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. This pleasant place, a peninsula jutting out into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast, is nice for the soul in some ways. One among my good associates from these days, Andy Gere, was an avid surfer and took any likelihood he bought to interrupt away from the Clam Bar, the place we labored as a line prepare dinner, and hit the waves. By no means aggressive, Andy embraced his life on the ocean as an enormous a part of who he was, and, in truth, nonetheless is. Being at one with the ocean made Andy pleased. The problem of the pounding surf and the enjoyment of sharing his ardour with others was infectious, and within the act of browsing, Andy made everybody round him really feel just a bit bit higher.

Andy Gere - Cape Cod surfing

Andy Gere browsing. Photograph courtesy of Andy Gere.

One other one in all my closest associates, the founder and former editor-in-chief of iRunFar, Bryon Powell, found fishing about 10 years in the past. And never simply any fishing, however excessive mountain fly fishing within the mighty San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado. In my statement, as Bryon grew to become extra obsessed with his fishing, his drive to compete in lengthy distance operating began to step by step wane. Don’t get me incorrect, Bryon continued to compete, he simply did so much less often. In fishing, in addition to day by day operating, he discovered extra nutritious meals for his soul than in aggressive operating.

2023 Hardrock 100 - Darla Askew - Bryon Powell

Bryon Powell sharing some miles and smiles with Darla Askew on the 2023 Hardrock 100. Bryon additionally discovered the time to catch some fish in the course of the race! Photograph: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

As for me, I don’t have a conventional soul sport. Nevertheless, as I’ve left aggressive lengthy distance operating within the rearview mirror, solo long-distance outings within the mountains and within the desert, most occasions on foot however generally on my bike, have develop into my soul sport. Whereas I cherished my years as a aggressive runner, I discover myself savoring these soul sport years simply as a lot. Bouldering, browsing, and fishing will not be my factor however, impressed by my associates’ passions, I’ve discovered nourishing meals for my soul in my chosen sport. And that, for certain, will get me out the door once more tomorrow.

Bottoms up!

AJW’s Beer of the Week

This week’s beer of the week comes from Cape Cod Beer in Hyannis, Massachusetts. Cape Cod’s oldest craft brewery, Cape Cod Beer is a neighborhood favourite up and down the peninsula. Their Cranberry Harvest German Ale is a fall seasonal ale, which mixes basic German styling with Cape Cod’s trademark crop, the cranberry. Not too candy and never too tart, Cranberry Harvest is a stunning accompaniment to the chilly days of a New England autumn.

Name for Feedback

  • Does the non-competitive aspect of operating feed your soul as AJW describes?
  • Or have you ever discovered an alternate sport or interest to meet this a part of you?



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