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Conquer the Mountain (8h race) Bryce Resort, VA


Wow, what an empowering adventure!

 

Back story…


Being so excited about adventure racing… I was signing up for all the races that were happening around MD area in a radius of 2-3 hours drive from home…

Not realizing or paying attention to the name I've signed up for “Conquer the Mountain ''...


It was not until I spoke to KD, a girl I met on one of my adventure races recently…

She shared her previous experience with this race - “I'll never race it again” she concluded.

“What do you mean you didn’t know you’re going to climb a mountain?” she asked puzzled… “that’s why it’s called Conquer the Mountain”... we giggled…


Biking to a mandatory check point on the top of the mountain… didn’t sound appealing to me…

I actually tried to sign myself out of it initially… not believing that I can do it…

Mountain biking is not my strongest side…


BUT…


This race showed up for a reason… and I must conquer my own doubts in my abilities… and go full in!


So there I was… driving on a Friday afternoon, with a friend who I met through adventure racing…

Sharing our stories and empowering each other for the bold things that we are choosing to do in life…

Understanding the challenges that came our way and still choose to pursue our own path towards a better version of ourselves for overall wellness.


Adventure racing is bringing people with the same mindset together…

It allows you to conquer your own fears… it allows you to face physical and mental challenges that you think you can’t overcome..


But you prove yourself over and over again… what IS POSSIBLE FOR YOU!


The race started with a biking leg to a mandatory check point on the top of a mountain…

“I will get to the top, even if I need to push that bike all the way up” I thought to myself while alternating riding the bike and pushing it up the steep road…


Not beating myself down for walking the bike up more than half of the way was important…


Reassuring myself that as long as I continue to take one step after the other… it's a progress and that’s what really matters…


Just the same as in life… sometimes we can’t see the top and we push and push… we do what it takes to move one step further… closer… until we get there…


We all have our own 'top of the mountain' and because we can't see it yet... doesn't mean it's not there!


Almost 2000 ft elevation and approximately 2 hours… we finally got to the top…


The view was breathtaking… It was worth it all!


Immersing into this experience…


What an awesome feeling was it to CONQUER THAT MOUNTAIN! and actually conquer my inner critical...


Proud and accomplished we headed down the mountain while cheering the people who were still climbing that mountain… (because it's about supporting each other on their journey..)


We continued to a trail full of muddy puddles all over it…


It has just rained and it created a fun experience to splash the puddles while on the bike!


It was fun to get dirty with the mud… as if the more dirty I got… the more I've achieved…


It was all about challenging myself - would I cross the puddle or would I fall into it?


What I’ve come to realize is that when doubt was creeping in, the performance was low, and vice versa…


It reminded me how important it is to set up our minds to what is that we’re attempting to achieve. Mindset is the first step!!


When we finally got to the transition area and dropped our bikes, transitioning to the tracking leg - it felt so good to give our bodies some rest and get some different muscles going…


We scouted around the park for the check points, climbing up some tall hills and going down some steep routes…


At that point I’ve started questioning why the hell did I sign up for that race…


But then this moment passes and the feelings of accomplishment overflowing… knowing that you can do anything if you set your mind into it…


Next was the Paddling leg.


I found out around 1–2 weeks before the race that there are going to be water challenges/swimming. Nervousness was in the air…


But when it actually came to the point of doing the challenges - it was the best feeling ever! After accomplishing so much, feeling invincible - water seemed a great way to continue the adventure.


3 water challenges were included but my favorite one was to swim across the lake and back for this one checkpoint…


We could choose to run around the lake but it was further…


We didn’t even think twice… took the shoes and the shirt off and jumped in!


The water was chilly but after a minute or two it felt so good to cool our bodies after sweating for hours…


It was liberating not to overthink it and just go for it…

Not thinking about how my body looks or how I’ll make it through the rest of the race wet….

Just being there is the moment, experiencing the experience….


The second challenge was lying on a paddle board on the belly and paddle with our hands… I couldn’t stop laughing … This was an amazing experience… after the excitement of the mountain and the fun while swimming… my body was just in an ecstasy state - it was euphoric. It felt like freedom!


This is freedom when you can just BE and enjoy the moment… being present and experiencing yourself and the world the way you choose!


We finished strong after collecting a total of 21 out of 22 checkpoints!


Looks like we won 9th place out of 15 in our division…


It’s a race but the true race is within ourselves.


Adventure racing allows me to prove myself that I’m capable of doing hard things… and there are so many hidden lessons that elevate my soul and allow me to be a better person compared to the person I was the day before.


Those physical and mental challenges provide good life lessons and I’m so willing to take it all in!


Life is amazing SO LIVE ADVENTUROUSLY!

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