In the GRL episode, Diboun is talking about the HURT 100 and grinding through some of the tougher parts of the race and he says "Don't feed the bad wolf" in regards to how he overcomes those difficult moments. This jumped out at me because it reminded me of an anecdote in a story about how Coach Quinn dealt with losing the Super Bowl. He hung a framed version of this parable called 'The Tale of the Two Wolves' in his office. The story features an old Cherokee telling his grandson about a battle that wages inside of him, and everyone else, between two wolves. Essentially, one is bad - full of anger, doubt, sorrow, regret etc., while the other is good - representing love, joy, peace, and hope. At the end of the story the grandson asks "which wolf wins?" to which the grandfather responds "the one you feed."
In all seriousness, I've heard a million different ways people have dealt with difficult situations. That was sort of the theme of early 2017. But when I heard Diboun say "don't feed the bad wolf" and it reminded me of this story about DQ it all clicked in my head and I felt like I knew exactly what they were talking about. Along with everyone else, I'm trying to be more mindful and "don't feed the bad wolf" has sort of become my mantra when trying to do that. Whether it's running or work or just life in general whenever I start to go down that negative path in my head, "don't feed the bad wolf."
I know it probably sounds a little silly like I had this eureka moment of clarity while listening to a podcast, but I do find that having a little mantra that you can go to can make a difference. I've taken a lot of small lessons from Coach Quinn. It's a perk of my job and a lot of them apply to running, controlling what you can control, not worrying about what others are doing or not feeding into negativity. Sure, a lot of this stuff seems like bumper sticker material or bromides, but they can work if you give them a chance.
It's taken a month or so, but that's my motto for 2018 - I'm going to try to stay positive. I'm not going to feed the bad wolf.
I really want to listen to that AWOL Nation song Hollow Moon (Bad Wolf) now.
Here's the GRL episode and the ESPN article about DQ's Cherokee Parable
Ginger Runner Live // Yassine Diboun
Microadventures of Amanda and Matt
Last weekend Amanda and I jumped in the Jeep and drove up to Helton Creek Falls. I got the idea from Wander North Georgia when I saw that it was a short hike and you had to drive through two smalls streams. Despite the rain, it was well worth the drive. There was virtually no one there and the falls were fully rushing. Because I'm 12 I was climbing all over all of the rocks and trying to take cool pictures the whole time.
After about an hour of wandering around the falls, we had a PB&J/Fluffernutter picnic in the back of the Jeep before driving up to Brasstown Bald. Even though the summit was socked in with fog and clouds - the visibility was maybe 30 yards - we decided to make the half-mile hike up to the observation tower. I've been there twice and both times it was the dead of winter and I/we were the only ones up there. Which, when you think about it is probably for the best. It was pretty cool to be the only people on top of the highest point in the state. Even if it was windy and raining. I bet there aren't a lot of weekend afternoons that you could be alone up there.
What I'm Reading/Listening to/Watching
Outside Online // The New (Bipartisan!) Conservation Corps Is a Win-Win
I came across this story on Twitter the other day about a modern Civilian Conservation Corps. Now, I have been fascinated by the CCC for a long time. I think it was an incredible program that not only helped to create the backbone of a lot of the outdoor places that we all enjoy but also helped a lot of people during a downtrodden time. The prospect of potentially creating a 21st-century version of this for young people just getting out of school is really interesting to me. It would be a great opportunity for kids to get practical experience and have a little adventure before settling into the real world all while tackling much-needed maintenance and repair in National Parks and other public lands. This really has the potential to be a big win for everyone involved.
One piece I found particularly interesting in the story was the potential for reducing unemployment among young people and veterans. It seems to me like this could be a great opportunity for service members when they return to the US or finish with their service. We can do so much better for veterans and giving them housing, food, and additional job skills sounds like a good place to start.
Messenger's Run // Bears Ears
I am a proponent of the National Parks. I agree with Ken Burns and think they are America's best idea. One of my greatest memories from growing up is the month-long cross-country road trip my family took, during which we spent time at the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone. These were incredible places that I cannot wait to share with my children someday. It's no secret that the future of our public lands has been a hot-button issue as of late. The reduction of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments is concerning and complex.
It's easy to say you support something, but it can be hard to fully understand it when you are far away from it. That's been a concern for a lot of these public lands. Sure there will be plenty of people to stand up for the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone, but will there be enough to stand up for smaller or lesser known ones? That was a long intro to a short video.
In January, 17 people got together and ran 250 miles in six-mile relay segments across Bears Ears and Grand Staircase in an effort to - in their words - 'carry a message that wild places are worth protecting, and sometimes the first step in doing that is to take another.'
It's pretty powerful stuff.
MESSENGERS - A Running Story of Bears Ears & Grand Staircase-Escalante from Yeehaw Donkey on Vimeo.
It was cool to see a bunch of people that are pretty well known for their running (I mean Magda Boulet ran) or their cool AF Instagram accounts come together and do something epic to try and help a cause they really believe in.
Forward Podcast // Part 1 | Part 2
Lance Armstrong had 'Icarus' director Brian Fogel on his podcast to talk about the hit Netflix documentary recently. If you haven't seen it, go watch it right now. I'll give my login if you need it. The movie is crazy. I wasn't sold on it at first but about a third of the way through all hell breaks loose. It's gripping. Anyway, Armstrong and Fogel talk about the documentary in this two-part podcast and it's really interesting to hear some of the things that Lance has to say about it. I can't remember him ever really being as forthcoming about some of the things he did as he is in this discussion. Some of his revelations are treated as just him saying something in passing but if you listen it's interesting to stuff.
For example, there are all kinds of things that Fogel takes in addition to EPO, some don't seem so crazy, but when you hear Lance say "and you need that for the EPO to take" or "You don't need all of that" I thought that was pretty interesting and surprisingly candid for him. Now, with that being said, he's still pretty coy but for Lance, I thought it was really interesting. And while it certainly doesn't let him or USPS off the hook in anyway, it does put what he did into perspective and shows that we have a long way to go in the fight against doping.
What's Poppin' on IG
Mount Washington is incredible in the Winter.
James Wade getting radical at Dirty Spokes.
An incredible shot of the Super Blue Blood Moon from last week. I was treated to some cool views of it for my morning workout at the track, but didn't really get the blood part. It was massive and lit up the whole track though.Last night’s “super blue blood moon” was the second full moon of January and appeared 14 percent bigger than the usual full #moon. The reddish color is an effect of the lunar eclipse, when the moon passes through the Earth’s shadow. It’s the first time this has happened in 150 years. Did you see this rare and spectacular event? Photo from the Pony Express National Historic Trail in #Nevada by Bob Wick, Bureau of Land Management (@mypubliclands). #SuperBlueBloodMoon #usinterior
Hey guys. A bunch of us made a film and we're going to share it on Thursday. It's not about us. It's about finding the things that unite people in this divisive political landscape, having uncomfortable but respectful conversations, and learning from each other. Also, there are dogs in it. #MessengersRun...coming soon.
This shot is from Johnnie Gall, one of the producers of the Messenger's Run film. She's a good follow on Instagram if you are into daydreaming about cool places and like random Star Wars quotes.
I'm kicking around the idea of riding Southern Cross. It's a 55ish mile gravel bike race in the North Georgia mountains that I've wanted to do for a few years now. I'm not 100 percent certain my bike could handle it but it sounds like it would be a difficult yet fun day. I rode Fools Gold 50 a few years ago, which was brutal but talking to a few people this sounds like something that would be more up my alley. After all, I'm not going to be riding fast. I just want to finish the thing. I don't know. We'll see.