‘Life Is Not Measured By the Number of Breaths We Take, But By the Moments That Take Our Breath Away’

 

Just before the festive break, we welcome back Majell Backhausen. You’ve seen a bit of him on the pages of late and you’ll be seeing more of him, along with other writers as Ultra168 looks to expand in 2016. I’m personally a big fan of change, and don’t like standing still, so there will be some positive developments for the website into 2016. For now, Majell, who has established himself  as one of Australia’s leading trail ultra runners this year, leaves us with some final thoughts about opportunities into 2016. 

The Christmas break it is the perfect opportunity to stop, yes, just stop, and smell the roses.

Take a couple of days easy and think about the places you want to go and explore in the New Year. I have now done it for a couple of months but don’t tell the coach.

Majell Backhausen pictured here in Europe, where is spent most of the 'summer'
Majell Backhausen pictured here in Europe, where is spent most of the ‘summer’

Doing this opened the opportunity to volunteer at Australia’s first Vertical Km and crew at Australia’s longest single stage Ultra, Coast 2 Kosi. These were such RAW eye opening views of the sport we love. It provided a different perspective on and connection with, more great people involved in the community.

Watching races and not putting foot to ground has me thinking though… what to do and where to go.

Calendars for SkyRunning and UTWT have been revamped and released for 2016 and a swag of new races have been announced from all corners of the world. It makes me excited and keen to get out the map and actually see where some of these newly listed races are!

Sichuan to Glen Coe to Waitakere to Mars… Mars is yet to be confirmed for 2016.

Recently crewing at C2K, I got speaking to Scotty Hawker (NZ trail bad ass) about geography, altitude and the Yading Skyrun one newly released race on the SR circuit.

Listening to his account of a recent visit to the region was pretty amazing. Excitement levels rose as he explained his experience of landing at Daocheng Yading Airport, the worlds highest civilian airport at 4411m and busting a gut to climb the airport stairs! So what will it be like to race there!? Damn challenging and RAW I think, Especially with stats like Starting altitude of 2,800m, race highpoint of 4,700m, and the wee 2,300 elevation gain over the first 25km!

It also sounds a bit daunting if you ask me, just like any exploration out of your comfort zone. However these are the challenges and experiences that stress us and thus force us to adapt and grow stronger both physically and mentally. Nothing ventured, nothing explored, nothing learnt leads to nothing gained! so avoid that for 2016!

With every new day brings new opportunities. So mathematically with the New Year approaching thats 365 new opportunities equally spread out for you to enjoy and use for your benefit and growth.

The exploration and experiences on offer through the sport of trail running, as we see in the Yanding Skyrun example are really endless. We have the ability to travel to remote places, experience hidden cultures and meet great people who are also involved in the trail running community.

Now this doesn’t mean we have to travel to Sichuan of course, because looking local we also have such hidden gems in Australia, such as Tasmania!

And it was on a recent running tour of untouched Tasmania in November, with Find Your Feet that my 2016 quote for the fridge / corner of the mirror was found (And title of this article).

“Life Is Not Measured By the Number of Breaths We Take, But By the Moments That Take Our Breath Away”

One for the Skyrunning Calendar, the Hounslow Classic in the Blue Mountains
One for the Skyrunning Calendar, the Hounslow Classic in the Blue Mountains

I guess running in Yanding does both of these in one, so its high on the list!

Doing something that will take you out of a comfort zone is nothing but enlightening. Whether it is travelling to new places, experiencing new cultures, volunteering, riding a bike to work, running different races, eating more sustainable for you and the environment (#meatfreedays) or learning a new hobby.

2016 a year of good times, personal exploration and growth, making the world a better place, sharing, learning and educating.

Majell Backhausen
Majell (pronounced My-al) is an Australian International Ultra Distance Runner who wants to explore the world, meet great people and prove himself in the mountains.

You’ll either find him behind a BIG plate of veggies, running in the mountains, talking about a positive life or cycling around town.

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