Ultra Tripping: My Birthday Suit

    The marksman hits the target partly by pulling, partly by letting go.
    The boatsman reaches the landing partly by pulling, partly by letting go.

    -Egyptian proverb

    “It’s a lot like stripping down to just your underwear in front of 500 strangers,” I sheepishly whispered to Chris just moments after posting my Ultra Tripping: Phase Zero blog on the evening of 35th birthday. The act of handing over your deepest desires for anyone to read and then asking for help in accomplishing them is no easy emotional task. It feels A LOT like standing naked in front of a crowd of friends and (internet) strangers and letting them judge whether they find what you are showing off to be beautiful or disgusting or something in between.

    But, I’m really happy I exposed my birthday suit. Not only is it exhilarating and freeing to let go of something I’ve held so close, it also confirms my trust in community and the power of belief in accomplishing any goal. Without this self-revealing act, the following things could not have happened (just days after trusting YOU and the UNIVERSE with this project)…

    -Securing a host in Melbourne, Australia. A huge thank you to Suzanne Ewen for connecting us with her sister Kelly Watts, who lives in Melbourne. Kelly and her husband Paul sound like a perfect hosting match. Not only are they outdoor enthusiasts who participate in triathlon, kite boarding, sailing and more, they also know the trials/ joys of an epic journey. Kelly and Paul sailed around the world as chronicled in their book Sailing to Jessica that I read a couple of years ago.


    view of Capetown — photo sent by our hosts Ray & Gay Brook

    -Connecting with a host in Capetown, South Africa. Barbara Fillion a.k.a. “the networking queen” has pulled off another amazing match. Thanks to her, we have Ray and Gay Brook as our hosts for Capetown. Again, I can’t imagine a better fit for us. As Ray mentioned in his first email to us, “We are united in desires for adventure and exploration.” Ray and Gay are life-long adventurers (world backpacking trips, long endurance events including PCT, 60 Cycle, kayak Baja and Inland Passage) and are completing their fifth year of traveling the world. Also, they are the founders of Summit Seekers, an organization that helps people “Become ALL you can be, with Healthy Living, Healthy Giving”.

    -Receiving contact from a few potential sponsors/partners. These conversations are at the very early stages but I’m encouraged by all of the support.

    -Being flooded with love and support from friends, family, community members and strangers through emails, text messages, FB posts and face-to-face conversations. Many people have asked if we are open to having them meet us somewhere. The answer is ABSOLUTELY YES! We will be releasing our location list sometime this Spring.

    The Ultra Check List (updated 1/28/16)

    Here’s what we have solidified & envisioned so far…

    • 6-9 weeks, 6-7 countries/continents, 6 self-routed/ self-supported ultra-marathons (30-50 miles in each location)
    • proposed trip departure mid-Feb 2017
    • raise & save $20,000 by February 1, 2017
      • We are challenging ourselves to eat 99% of our meals at home, spend $0 on personal items  (except for groceries, toiletries, house repairs, emergency expenses) as well as find alternative means of entertainment. Our first goal is to make it six months on this plan. —1+ month complete
    • rent out our house by late summer 2016 to save $ and to practice simplicity
    • complete the four-page list of home improvement tasks (the Mike Tyson of “punch lists”) one month prior to rental
    • rent house for 6 months to 1year & co-habitat with local parents (experiment in longhouse living)
    • initial cost, ticketing research and short list of locations  –complete
    • secure final locations/ hosts by end of March 2016
    • proposals to potential sponsors by early summer 2016
    • purchase flights by late summer/ early fall 2016
    • finalize running routes, cultural missions, & travel details by late winter 2016
    • smuggle across the oceans the un-exchangeable, un-obtainable cultural recipes for ALIVENESS
    • identify and train surrogate puppy and cat parents to foster our babies while we’re gone
    • map out plan for ultra-marathon training
    • begin ultra training 2/10/16
    • locate hosts in Melbourne, Australia–complete!
    • locate hosts in Capetown, South Africa–complete!

    Here’s what we need help on …

    • securing sponsorship to help cover the Around-the-World-Ticket airfare of ~$4000/ per person
    • companies or people who would be willing to sponsor/ partner the adventure in the form of gear, supplies, hospitality, connections or ideas
    • compiling a list of must-see/ do in each location with a strong bent on activity/ scenery/ culture
    • sharing our story and ongoing process with anyone who wants to play a part

    If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine. It is lethal.

    -Paulo Coelho

    In this spirit of letting go and seeing what takes place, I want to encourage INHABITers to fire on one of the following items this week:

    • ask for help from someone you trust
    • reveal something personal but meaningful (to deepen a relationship or further a project)
    • put in writing (public or private) a “secret” dream of your own

    1 Comment

    • aja marsh

      I’m loving this adventure of yours! We’re going to scope out your list and see if we can join you some run-ventures somewhere! xo

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