I have to let you in on a secret. I'm a "little bit" of a NASCAR fan.
I don't actually view too many races on TV. But I have kept up with the business side of the sport ever since I had a promotions account with the Wrangler Brand in the mid 1980's and did PR for Dale Earnhardt, Sr.
Now Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (above) is all the rage with fans, but his performance has not been stellar. Junior was interviewed and said, "that's one helluva excuse for a race car" when asked about his recent driving results. Questions have arisen about his crew chief, his crew, and the competitiveness of his racing equipment.
Much of Junior's dilemma has raised questions in my own mind about ultradistance performances. Who or what is to blame for our results?
In the world of ultras it can be a bad knee or bad weather or bad food; it can be the wrong gear or the wrong event or the wrong course markings; it can be water instead of Gatorade, Gu instead of PowerGels, or overtraining instead of undertraining.
Get the picture?
Franklin D. Roosevelt stated, "There is nothing to fear but fear itself." Many times I don't want to face the fear, or myself, so I think of what bumps in the road may have contributed to my own less than stellar performance. But in the end, racing ultras have taught me what is possible and how to make it to the finish.
As the years creep by, it is more about being able to participate, than it is a faster time or competitive result.
Despite aches and pains and a degenerating knee, I'll try to leave the excuses at home and bring what I can to the start line. Sure it might be more or better or faster, but for now this is it, the bare essentials stripped naked of pretense.
There will always be the "woulda-coulda-shoulda" platform. I'll try to stay as far away from that as possible.