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June 15, 2018

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108th Dipsea: Sweet & savory, but always hungry for more by Jeffrey Stern

Photo by Vanessa Hansen

When you dream about something for long enough and you finally put in the work to set yourself up for the best possible chance at success, is there any option but to go out and execute your plan on race day?

True, anything can happen, but when I believe in myself I know the countless hours of training I put in have prepared me to race with courage and strength to complete feats once thought utterly insane & completely impossible.

In accepting that as the truth, I also know that once the race is done I’m ready for more no matter what happens between the start and finish. Within days I find myself analyzing my splits and those of others slightly faster than myself to fully understand the race, it’s challenges, pitfalls to avoid and strategies for success in order to continually improve, year over year. I don’t just learn one thing from race day, I learn a multitude of tidbits of information that create a wealth of racing knowledge that I lean on each time I pin a number on. However, racing is no science, it’s one of the most artistically tactful displays of athleticism I’ve ever witnessed and after finishing 182 of them, I promise you that racing is also one of the most challenging undertakings around requiring a fine balance between strength, finesse and mental clarity. Elements absolutely paramount to achieving great things in competition.

Within minutes of firing up the computer, I know where I can cut, one, two, maybe even three minutes off my time in order to push me higher in the ranks. It won’t be easy, but that’s precisely why I like it. I reach for the bar so often just so I can feel it slip through the grip of my hands, driving me to come back again with the passion to hurdle myself onto a completely foreign level, setting a new standard -- pushing to limits never thought possible.

Eighteen is great, but I want more. It’s in my nature to never be satisfied with complacency or stagnation. Each moment is savored, but always stored to deepen future experiences with knowledge from the past in both racing and life. Every single block is part of a foundation of something larger than life itself, the world I create around myself and thrive in on a daily basis.

I’m already scheming about the training I need to put into motion to make my next set of dreams come to fruition; all I can do is smile when I think about the opportunities that lie ahead. How lucky am I to be able to pursue a passion that teaches me more about myself and others than I could ever possibly absorb?

It’s time to get back to work, I’ve still got more to learn.

 

 

Video by Rickey Gates


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