Making Memories

When it comes down to it, where are your most meaningful memories made? This might not be a question that I–and likely many others–ponder often enough. However, if you give it some thought and, then, use your answers as a lighthouse, they may just guide you to better decision making.

In drafting my best memories of 2018, many of my favorites were telling in their commonality: me taking part in 100-mile races. While all of the White Mountains 100 Mile was stunning, the amazing aurora display I witnessed as Chris Ragsdale and I left the Windy Gap Cabin sometime after midnight is something I’ll long remember. Then, there’s the Hardrock 100 and the many meaningful moments I experienced there, too. There was passing the green and gold that surrounded Island Lake while wearing the green and gold Packer hat of our dear, departed friend Bill Dooper. There was seeing my partner Meghan Hicks while she was reporting from out at Grouse Gulch. While this was my third running of Hardrock, it was the first I’d seen her out on the course. There were the final meters when my two young nieces strode alongside me on Reese Street in Silverton.

2018 Hardrock 100 - Bryon Powell - Bill Dooper - Island Lake

Island Lake joined Bill Dooper in loving the green and gold during the 2018 Hardrock 100. Photo: Bryon Powell

Still, as we roll further into 2019, I’ve begun to pare my racing plans for the year, including both of my planned races for the first half of the year, the Red Hot Moab 33k and the White Mountains 100. I’ve loved running my hometown Red Hot every year for a while now with consistently strong results, but have little desire to pay to race it without some modicum of endurance or speed when I can go run the terrain any day. (This year, I’ll volunteer at the race instead.) After enjoying a touristic go at White Mountains via last-moment entry off the waitlist in 2018, I’d hoped to return with some fitness and focus for more of a racing effort this year. That just won’t happen.

Indeed, my failure to prioritize my running anywhere near as highly as my work this winter and a number of high-ranking, non-running goals and plans for the year have had me more than once on the verge of wiping my my entire race slate for the year clear–including Hardrock, as I was chosen in the lottery again for the 2019 event–in favor of going 100% in on my non-running goals.

Fortunately, my previous recollection of these great moments from 2018 reminds me of where I find meaning in my life and not to ignore that. I know that it’s far too easy for me to go all in on something at the expense of everything else, for better or worse. That’s led to some incredible things (iRunFar, for one), but too often it’s to my detriment and more often than not, it’s an absolutist cop-out from my end.

With all that in mind, it’s here that I commit to making time to make the memories that matter to me this year. While in my previous article, I set the goal of adding more breathing room to my life by next year, that in no way precludes me from doing meaningful things in the meantime… and taking a few steps toward that longer-term goal in the process. This means a full commitment to running Hardrock. It’s time to make more memories.

Call for Comments

  • Do some of your most meaningful memories come from running?
  • If so, do you ever use that knowledge to recommit to your running?

There are 7 comments

  1. Christopher Pack

    Some of my greatest memories from the last several years have been from running and more specifically sharing trail time with friends. Knowing this I purposely sign up for events with friends and volunteer to pace friends at their big events.

  2. Doug K

    it’s a problem..

    The world is too much with us; late and soon,
    Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;—
    Little we see in Nature that is ours;
    We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!

  3. Jill L Homer

    “Memories” are the gold standard by which I qualify all of my experiences, because I realized some time ago that “accomplishments” are fleeting and often dependent on the judgements of other people. It does all boil down to what you as an individual find most meaningful.

  4. John Vanderpot

    It’s become such a “thing” I sometimes feel self-conscious about it, like I’ve got to be getting back waaaay more than I give?

    A lot of the time it sort of slips my mind that there’s some physical fitness involved, mostly it just feels like a big moving party?

    After the right run I’m not even “back” at work till like Wednesday?

    Hard to beat that this side of a weekend bender!

  5. Denzil

    Crazy running adventures and races, and the people involved, are always some of my fondest memories, but that alone isn’t always reason enough for me to prioritize running. I’m currently a grad student, and it’s easy to say there isn’t time to run, and that any number of things, rightfully, should take priority. I remind myself that running is the reason I am where I am and who I am today. If running is what brought me here, it should to continue to bring me where I’m going.

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