Sunday, January 23, 2011
Grand Slam!!! BHAG of 2011
Last year my BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) was to run the Leadville 100. It was a huge goal and like all big goals it took me way out of my comfort zone. The thought of running 100 miles through the high altitude Colorado Rockies kept me training hard and in the end I had a great race and a week in Colorado with my family that I will never forget.
This year, like last year, I entered the lottery to run the Western States 100. This is the race that Dean Karnazes wrote about in his book Ultramarathon man. It is considered the "Wimbledon" of Ultramarathons. It has a ton of media coverage and one of the most competitive fields in all Ultra Running. The race starts at Squaw Valley California and ends in Auburn CA. It is a point to point race that has everything from snowfields and cold temperatures in the morning to 100 degree canyons in the afternoon. It is known as a quad fryer as there is 18000 feet of climbing and 22000 feet of descending. Incredibly, after only my second year trying, my name was picked for one of the 200 spots available out of the 2000 people who applied.
Until earlier this week I had made the WS100 my BHAG for the year. I also entered the Vermont 100 which is only 3 weeks after Western States. I love the VT race and was sad to miss it this year because of an ankle sprain. It was my first 100 three years ago and I've never run more than one in a year.
On Friday I had a thought. I love what I have done with my company, National Powersports. But I don't think that on my gravestone I want "Here lies Nathan Sanel. He owned a great Motorcycle Shop". I really want to do more with my life. I want to help people achieve their dreams. I want to show them that there is a process and a way to get whatever they want out of this life. If my tombstone says "He helped people realize that this life is magical and can be whatever they want" I'll die a much happier man.
If I really want to help people realize that they can do anything that they want I need to take myself out of my comfort zone again. I want to show how it works and what the process is.
Running a 100 mile race is something that I am familiar with. I know what to do. I know how to train for it. I have done it before and am comfortable preparing for it. It is not the unknown. If I want to document the process of achieving BHAGS I need to set one for myself that scares me.
I have decided to put my name in for the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning. The GS is running four of the oldest 100 mile Ultras in a 4 month time period. It starts with the Western States. Then 3 weeks later the Vermont 100. Then Leadville 4 weeks after that. And if that is not hard enough, the Wasatch 100 in Utah is 4 weeks after Leadville.
I'm scared. I love being scared and biting off more than I can chew. I never feel more alive than when I am tackling a challenge that I don't know if I am going to be able to complete. But this is an incredible opportunity to show how the process works. I made the decision 3 days ago. I'm going to share with you every step of the process. I'm not sure of exactly how as I have a few ideas, but I am going to commit to you that I will post once a week at the minimum. I think that sharing the process from now until I finish in September will give you a view into how I go about changing my life and hopefully it will inspire others to take their life into their control and realize that they can do anything that they want.
Posted by Nathan Sanel at 5:24 PM