This year I picked up a Sponsorship from Pearl Izumi. At first I thought that this was great. Somebody believed in me enough to stand behind me as a runner, and let me represent their product. Pearl makes the only trail shoe that I have ever liked, and I loved the Trail N2. So when I heard that they were looking for Ultra Runners for the team I jumped on it. I sent them a little info about myself, and surprisingly they said that they wanted me!
And then it all started to stress me out. It began to feel like a lot of pressure. My running, which is not structured or consistent, and generally just good enough for a mid-pack finish, now had some big shoes to fill. My running, which I do for fun and not for medals, had to stand up in front of expecting Sponsorship Eyes and look like it was serious. What in the world was I thinking.
The first part of the year I was recovering from an injury and a couple of lousy races last fall, and I tried to figure out what I was looking for in my running. I'm not a fast guy, I'm not going to win races for my Sponsor. I'm not really a guy who likes the spotlight, and I hate speaking in public. How was I going to represent my Sponsor. I just like to run.
I just like to run. I like running with other runners. I like running alone. I like hanging out at races. The trail running community is a huge part of why I like to run. But its not the only part. I run for the feeling it gives me. The thrill of flying down a technical trail. The burn of the climb to get to the top of the mountain. The breathtaking views when you finally get up there. The connected feeling you get when you are running alone in the woods.
And it started to make sense to me. I just needed to love running to represent my Sponsor. I just needed to love running to get out of my funk. A couple of bad races is just a couple of bad races. I don't run races to win, and suffering is an integral part of the experience. Without the lows, the highs don't feel as good. Why do we fall? So we can prove to ourselves that we can get back up.
This year I picked up a Sponsorship from Pearl Izumi. They believed in me enough to stand behind me as a runner, and let me represent their product. So when I heard that they were looking for Ultra Runners for the team I jumped on it. I sent them a little info about myself, and surprisingly they said that they wanted me!