Fresh off Nationals weekend, a lot of us racers are thinking about how we can up our game. Daniel Tauxe Staudigel shared some advice on the Adventure Race Discussion Group. Thanks for sharing, Dan!
Some unsolicited (and possibly horrible) advice: Don't try to "over-solve" problems. In an adventure racing career, there are so many things to figure out, fix, solve, that if you spend too much time on any one of them, you'll lose sight of the main thing: go out and get dirty! Build positive memories and relationships with your teammates. When problems come up, go with something reasonably light and durable, and come back to it when you have more experience. We sometimes act like having a bad time with something is somehow avoidable. Get the right shoes and you won't get blisters, get the right bike and you'll be fast, use the right kind of chamois lube and you won't get chaffed, etc. This couldn't be further from the truth. For me, the whole point of this sport is overcoming adversity - it's opting in to an objectively unpleasant experience because it's awesome, and we need that as human beings. We aren't built to live comfortable lives, we are built to solve problems and keep moving forward, together as a tribe or team. I look back at inappropriate nutrition, gear, and strategy choices fondly - they are a source of connection and love for me and my team. That time a teammate chose to take sandals on a jagged volcano/bushwack trek? Rad. Taking nothing but confectioners sugar, macadamia nuts, and spicy beef jerky to an 8-day expedition race in Patagonia? HILARIOUS. Starting an expedition race with a teammate with a bad hip? Bittersweet. Was I annoyed or sad at the time? Sure, but if I'm being super honest, the only thing I genuinely wish I had done earlier in my career is go to a physical therapist.