Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Taking risks and failing

I'm a very cautious person, especially when it comes to running.  I think it comes from years of injuries and physical therapy and the fear of not being able to live my life.  So to avoid injury I always make a safe plan for steady improvement and loathe to go off book.

But this post isn't about that.  It's about taking risks.  Specifically, that sometimes you need to take them.  My roommate (who happens to have the same New Balance Minimus shoes) invited me to go running with him and a friend in American Fork Canyon.  He didn't know exactly how far we would be running and didn't describe the terrain, but I decided to throw caution to wind and just go with it.

We started by heading into the canyon which takes you deep in the Uinta National Forest, and immediately steep cliffs and deep green pines swallow you up.  Once we got to a reservoir we took a treacherous single-lane dirt road further into the mountains, which dropped us off here:

Killer view, huh?  We took off running and immediately I could tell the pace was too fast.  It was all up-hill and we were really moving and I could feel my heart rate spike to dangerous levels.  My inner obsessive-compulsive was saying "this is TOO fast, you're going to flame out!" But I was running in a group and frankly I had no idea where we were and I didn't want to get left behind for the mountain lions.

And guess what, after about ten minutes my asthma started to kick in and it looks like my inner voice was right: I did flame out.  I was forced to hike the rest of the way to the top and catch them again on the way down.  But you know what, even though I made the "wrong" decision, I don't regret it.  Sometimes you need to take risks and fail.  I maybe shouldn't have gone on that run, and I definitely shouldn't have tried to stay with the pack after I found out the pace.  But if I had played it safe I wouldn't have been in this jaw-dropping canyon, I wouldn't have been able to test myself, and I wouldn't have run the more than three miles of insanely steep, rocky, winding and absolutely thrilling downhill that ended the trek.  All things considered it was definitely worth it.

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