Pangea Community Forum

Posts: 2
October 8, 2011
Where to begin? I'm up registering for the LighterKnot and I feel the urge to write about how much I love this sport and what it has meant to me for the past year or so that I have been racing.

2009 was the worst year of my life to date. My mother had been diagnosed with Stage 4 ovarian cancer in January and despite the Chemo was wasting away. We spent the holidays in the hospital doing things for my mother that I hope none of you ever have to think about doing. She didn't have the strength to eat and the cancer was causing her body to shut down slowly and painfully. She ended up passing away on January 1st; 3 weeks before my first child was to be born. We hoped so badly that she would be able to hold on long enough to meet our little Penelope, but it wasn't in the cards. Being very close to my mother, I was devistated and angry. By March I was drinking more than I ever had and my career and my marriage were paying the price.

Then one day, while talking to one of my patients, I found out about Adventure Racing. I immediately signed up for the 2010 SCAR with a friend of mine that I had previously hiked the AT with. I had 1 week to train before the event. I took short jogs and got my bike tuned up, but nothing could have prepared me for what was coming. On the day of the race, I threw up 3 times, fell off my bike twice, and cried for the last 2 miles of the bike leg of the race. Something wonderful happened though; I had complete clarity of mind. Somehow I had no more angst, no more depression. This race had evened me out- at least for the time being. I got home and in the following days, everyone saw a difference; especially my wife.

Now, 1 year later, I'm so grateful to this sport for all that it has given me. I've met some great people, seen some very beautiful places and had many challenging/rewarding eperiences so thank you Pangea from the bottom of my heart. This sport just might have saved my life. I'll see you next weekend at the Lighterknot.

Matthew Hayes
Team Meow Meow!! / Sucka Meow!!
Posts: 5
October 8, 2011
Thank you for sharing this, I found Pangea in January of this year after a very rough couple years and have enjoyed being a part of the events for almost a year now, my first race was the Scar. I am looking forward to the Lighter Knot and agree totally with you that the sport offers many challenging/rewarding experiences.

Denise Reck
Team Wilderness Gypsies
Posts: 3
October 18, 2011
We've tossed around thoughts about this (in a broad manner) because we see a lot of racers come through and see a lot of them take what they need from racing.

But in simple terms racing can be an escape. Sometimes life struggles can tie up all of your time. Even when you should be off the clock, the mind keeps going with all that can or has already gone wrong. And of course, the body itself can easily fall victim to such mental unrest.

All of that can go away while racing. No matter how bad things are, they will be there waiting for you the next day. It allows you to focus on something else. And in many cases, it can actually improve performance because you don't want to waste your "escape time".

And no matter what, you can relax and feel good when you are done because you have earned it for that day. Also, you have lived part of the day completely forgetting about all that weight that usually drags you down.

Like an insomniac dozing off for a few winks, it reminds you that the other side does exist and gives you hope that you will get back there someday.