Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Silence: The Strongest Euphemism

Fuck the euphemisms.

I've been shouting toned-down-reality within my mute shouting.

I failed.  Lost.  Broke.  Came up short.  

I went bigger than my capabilities.  Too short to ride this ride.  Go home.  Do not pass go.  Do not collect your medal.

Humbling?  Quite.  

I DNF'd the McNaughton 150.

It should be obvious at this point.  I haven't posted since pre race projections and plans.  

Surely, by this point, everyone can deduce that things didn't go according to plan.

Why the delay?  A simple fact of human nature to which I am now privy.


We are programmed to litter the data-scape with our accomplishments.

Photos of sonograms.  Relationship status changes.  Links to race results.  Notices of office promotions.  Wedding photos.  Anecdotes about the greatest nights of our life...

Even Friday is a proclamation of success.  "I made it to the weekend.  I live for the weekend.  TGIF!  The 5/7ths of my life I hate didn't get to me this week!"

Maybe it's time to announce the times we didn't make it to Friday, so to speak?

Photos of funerals.  Explanations of our relationship status changes involving our infidelities and other inadequacies.  Links to our DNF's.  Divorce proceeding announcements on FB?

People look at social media and proclaim the beginning of a confessional society.  People transparent and open about their secrets ~ leveling them out before the whole web.  An honesty and development of self reflection and confiding in others.  

Nope.  Only idealistic avatars for the most part run free on the range of our public face.

We confess only our successes.  

Wake up.  It's a farce.  

Where is rock bottom and failure in our resumes?  


And I'm as big a part of the joke as anyone.

And I'm ready to make amends and move forward.  

So, yes.  I bombed the McNaughton 150.  I was over-hyped.  

I wrote checks my body couldn't cash.

I let people down.  I painted expectations that were farther than my reach.  We can spout many many things and reach very few.

My absence from writing the last few weeks has convinced me of an irreparable shortcoming of the human ego to stand upon the shoulders of a failure.

But here that's exactly what I'm going to do.

I own my DNF.  I'm cultivating the DNF.  I'm ruling this DNF.  I'm ruling every DNF.

American Zofigen
ADK 540
Ironman Kentucky

And crafting this into pre-race supplement for the Peak 50 and the Death Race and a Double Ironman.


And each of these future events offers yet an other avenue for public disgrace.  

And my arms are wide open for it!

Rise upon your failures, stand upon them as a stack of bodies.  Bodies of former selves you've slain and are climbing upon.

Note to self:  get over yourself!


  1. Great Post:)

    Love honesty.

    So refreshing... can't wait to cheer for you at the next race!

  2. Jason
    DNF... my friend Julie reminded me when I dnf'd at VT50 2 years ago that I "did nothing fucking" stupid so be happy and move on...

    Oh we all take ourselves so seriously...I remind my students every day "get over yourselves" as it is very freeing...walk around with your zipper down on purpose or give yourself a chocolate milk mustache and keep it....your dnf means nothing to anyone but you and that is only if you bother giving it any legs....I will be running around on the trails during Peak 50 with a haybale if I see you out there wear your milk mustache with pride and make sure to tip me over like a weeble...I have been feeling rather smug lately...I need to be taken down a notch or two and I don"t like chocolate milk and my shorts don't have a zipper

    : )

  3. If you're living, life is simply the drill of "Failing Forward" for those who are going somewhere, growing and moving up. You can't success your way to success. It doesn't work that way though the collective Borg would have you think so.

    People DNF all day but take it as a negative. More DNFs, the more opportunity for success. One can't exist without the other.

    Too many DNFs and you're just not learning from them.

  4. I love the "failing forward" idea and attempt to practice it when I feel like I'm hitting a wall or "rock bottom". I think it's a shitastic idea to think of supported growth from all your DNFs! So- right on with your attitude and better luck next time (:

  5. Dude, you inspire me. At the age of 42 I have decided to return to the meat grinder of total physical activity from whence I came, and the fear...the fear of failure, or of only partial success...it haunts me. I need to know that people like you are out there.

  6. McNaughton unofficial goal of 100 miles (2011) – quit at mile 70 with knee pain

    Bandera 100k Trail Run (2011) – quit at 77k with stomach distress

    Winter Death Race (2010) – quit at 16 hours due to “time cutoff”

    Various solo winter training hikes (2010) – quit, tired after 1/2 hour and slept in my car

    U.S. Go (board game) Congress (2007) – Lost 5 out of 6 games in the U.S. Open

    U.S. Go (board game) Congress (2009) – Lost all 6 games in the U.S. Open

    Appalachian Trail thru-hike (2003) – quit in Maine (sick/depressed) after 2,050 miles (when people ask me about it I let them know that I hiked from Georgia to Maine, but never summited Katahdin)

    Tae Kwon Do School (when I was a kid) – quit just weeks before my Black Belt test (after years and years of hard work)

    The list goes on.

    Jack Cary (Death Race Finisher and occasional quitter)