I have overcome quite a few fears to embrace the adventure life.  Many people might not believe this but I used to have a horrible fear of flying even though I loved to travel.  My heart would race and my palms would sweat at the thought of getting on a plane.  It was really bad but I had to get over it if I wanted to see the world. So I talked to pilots and engineers about the mechanics of airplanes that make them one of the safest modes of transportation and this helped a lot.  Sitting in a window seat near the front of the plane also improved my flying experience.  But I think the most important factor in overcoming my fear of flying was continuing to fly even though I was afraid.  I became brave with repeated exposure to fear.  My approach to adventure follows a similar pattern.  Even if trying something new scares me, I confront my fears and go for it.  Below is a list of some past adventures in descending order.

Running Adventures

Hallucination 100 Mile Race

Hallucination 100 Mile Race

2016 - Barkley Fall Classic Marathon, Frozenhead, TN - First  50K in Tennessee.

2016 - Destin Beach Ultra Runs 50K, Destin, FL - First 50K in Florida.

2015 - Ultra Chili 50K, Mt. Pleasant, SC - First 50K in South Carolina.

2015 - Leadville Marathon, Leadville, C0 - start at 10,000 over feet up to 13,180 feet.  Made it to the peak missing the cut off on the return, but made it back to the finish on my own for a total of 21 miles.

2015 - Lake Martin 100, Alexander City, AL - DNF at Mile 75 with severely inflamed tendon on left ankle. 0 for 2 - Lake Martin wins!

2015 - Cheaha 50K, Delta, AL - First 50K in Alabama.

2015 - Frosty 50K, Winston-Salem, NC - First 50K in North Carolina.

2014 - Hallucination 100, Hell, MI - First 100 mile finish (pic above).

2014 - Lake Martin 100, Alexander City, AL - DNF at Mile 62 (100K) too slow to make cutoff.  0 for 1.

2014 - Mississippi 50K, Laurel, MS - First 50K in Mississippi.

2014 - New Orleans Rock n Roll Marathon, New Orleans, LA.

2013 - Birmingham Stage Race (Moss Rock, Red Mountain, Oak Mountain)  53 miles, Birmingham, AL.

2013 - Mississippi 50, Laurel MS - First 50 miler.

2011 - North Face Endurance Challenge 50K - Pine Mountain, GA - First Ultramarathon - Couch to 50K in 5 months, First 50K in GA.  

1999 - Disney Marathon, Orlando, FL

 


My first triathlon ever was the Augusta Ironman® 70.3 on September 27th, 2015.   Since I was already an endurance athlete (run/bike), I figured I would just jump in at the middle.  Right?  One small problem.  I was not a strong swimmer.  I knew how to swim good enough (not to drown) but 1.2 miles in open water.  Let's just say lessons were needed!  The UAB rec center swim class was great...my swimming improved with just 4 lessons and I was able to swim with my head in the water and breathe to one side without drinking all of the water in the pool.  Then I found TI (Total Immersion) online swimming lessons and the companion book on open water swimming.  After 4 months of swim practice,  I was ready for the Savannah River filled with legendary alligators (read: legends unseen) and 2,000 plus other swimmers.  Race morning was super exciting and I couldn't wait to get in the water!  I wiggled into my wetsuit and off my wave went down the gangplank.  We jumped into the freezing cold water; holding on for dear life while we waiting for the start gun.  POW!  And we were off!!!  Avoiding getting kicked in the head or dragged under or swam over, it was all over and done in just over 40 minutes! It was such an amazing accomplishment to go from gulping water in the pool to swimming 1.2 miles in a 42 ft river.  The rest of the race was not easy by any stretch of the imagination but I had overcome my biggest hurdle to being a triathlete.  I have a lot of respect for people who combine all three disciplines to compete on a regular basis but I am headed back to trail running and onward to other adventures!