Adversity Lessons from the ‘World’s Toughest Race’

Dim had established on the Fijian rainforest. In the mud and rain, Jason Magness and…

Dim had established on the Fijian rainforest. In the mud and rain, Jason Magness and his teammates took place on a bamboo frame. They draped a tarp above, and manufactured camp for the evening. The final few hrs the team experienced clambered their way by way of a dense, steep valley they believed would deliver them to the base of Vuwa Falls—a tiered, thousand-foot cascade they wanted to ascend—only to uncover they built navigational faults and had just invested the working day traversing the wrong valley.

Magness, Daniel Staudigel, Melissa Coombes, and Stephen Thompson of Team Bend Racing have been in Fiji participating in the 2019 Eco-Problem, an 11-day, 400-mile journey race aired on Amazon Prime Online video in August 2020 as the World’s Hardest Race. Crew Bend started off the multi-willpower event sprinting to a direct in their outrigger canoe. Then trekking on the island of Ovalau, Staudigel succumbed to serious warmth health issues, and was scarcely able to transfer under his individual energy. In just 14 hrs from the start, Bend Racing slid from first posture to just about very last, uncertain about the wellness of Staudigel (pictured underneath), or if they would have an chance to end.

Team Bend Racing from the United States
Tara Kerzhner/Amazon

5 times and approximately 280 miles later on, slogging on slumber deprivation and sufferfest-ing across the South Pacific setting as a result of phases of trekking, whitewater rafting, and mountain biking, Staudigel’s health improved, and Bend Racing was rallying in celebratory spirits. That was, till they identified by themselves missing in a valley someplace in the center of the Fijian island of Viti Levu. Inevitably drained, baffled, and with frustrations mounting, the crew once again identified their race in jeopardy.

The spoiler: Magness and enterprise arrived at Vuwa Falls and eventually the best end of any American workforce, in seven and a 50 percent times and 14th position.

Team Bend Racing Adventure Eco Challenge
Christian Pondella/Amazon

Group Bend Racing was significantly from the only group encountering issues. Wilderness survival predicaments are par for the course during the Eco-Obstacle. But when you have an celebration the place a third of the 66 able teams would not even end, you have to question what skills aspect in buy to total the race beyond health and fitness and orienteering?

Magness cites skills like getting the route emotionally, psychologically, and with the people about you. It is something he and his twin brother (and unique climbing companion) Andrew keyed into first watching the Eco-Obstacle on television together. “My brother and I truly got into climbing and mountaineering, and did some massive climbs and 1st ascents heading into our 20s,” states Magness. “I keep in mind looking at the Eco-Obstacle on Television. In some of these early variations of it they showed a lot additional of the divisiveness and complaining on the teams. We were being viewing and inquiring just about every other why they have been combating? We realized ample from our climbing expeditions that combating was the surest way to have all of your ideas go astray. People are the individuals you are hoping to survive with.”

Acquiring un-lost from a Fijian mountainside could possibly show up far from the day by day trials of most, but Magness, who has participated in adventure races given that 2003, sees adversity, whether or not it be in the wilderness or at dwelling, as getting on the similar map. The comfortable competencies Crew Bend Racing regularly hones were analyzed in Fiji. Below, Magness shares insight into how they carried the team to full the Eco-Problem.

Jason Magness from Team Bend Racing Eco Challenge

Be genuine with on your own and those about you

“We have vent classes. You have to get the job done to allow for people’s feelings to be valid. Regardless of whether the basis powering them is right or incorrect is a unique discussion. But the thoughts on their own are valid. After we come to feel listened to in that perception it’s less complicated not to just maintain fighting and continue to keep heading into a dim place. It requires the wind out of the sails of that unfavorable emotion. Matters are the most perilous when you are resisting them.” Magness, who co-founded Bend Racing with his wife and quite often teammate Chelsey Magness, values this honesty in the group which performs a considerable function for a bigger philosophy each in the activity and at massive that he simply cannot emphasize more than enough, “You have to worth associations.”


Give soreness a prospect

“We have a rule that at any level any a single of us can say, ‘I’m performed with this, I want to go dwelling.’ There is no judgment,” says Magness, comprehension in these races that if a group member quits, the overall group’s race is concluded. “But it will come with a caveat. After you decide that, we proceed for 24 several hours, and when that time has passed, see if you however feel that way.”

The arbitrary time interval acts as a structured mechanism to enable somebody the means to go via a approach with their conditions. A group member initiates the clause in just about every single party, but they have nonetheless to throw in the towel, and they know if they at any time do it will be the right get in touch with. “Once you get at ease with getting unpleasant you open up up your opportunities. Often we respond also early and rob ourselves of an chance to mature and adapt.”

Eco-Challenge Fiji Team Bend Racing
Krystle Wright/Amazon

Really don’t ignore the power of rest

In a 24-hour open racecourse sleep arrives at a high quality. Groups snooze on only a several occasions for confined time, and function via most of the 400-mile occasion largely snooze deprived. Magness argues often resting is the greatest factor you can do for your self, but normally neglected. If you are fatigued, or obtaining difficulty resolving an argument, from time to time the finest solution is to choose an previous piece of tips: Rest on it, and see where by you are afterward. This is just what Bend Racing made the decision was the ideal program of motion throughout trying situations shed in look for of Vuwa Falls. “That is a single of the very best reset buttons there is and not sufficient groups know when to use it. It did not get the job done in our favor for just about anything else besides that we acquired to mentally reset.”

Stay pointed toward the positive—and celebrate even compact good results

“You have to see you succeeding. It results in being this driving mental photo and you really don’t even have to know how it is heading to transpire but you have this all round graphic of success. We established these small tiny plans so that we have successes, and we are very cognizant of doing that in our race when we really don’t truly know if we can keep heading.

When Dan had warmth exhaustion we had been dragging him up a mountain for three several hours that took most groups 50 percent an hour. The previous detail we stated before he went to mattress was that he succeeded at some thing. The up coming early morning a ton of the results for Dan was if could drink a mouthful of water, that was it. Whatever the undertaking ahead is, the last 10 matters you did, you succeeded at. And so the subsequent undertaking you will also.

As before long as you fall out when factors get hard, you are location neurological styles. The good thing is our pattern is we will come across our way by way of nearly anything due to the fact that is what has constantly took place. As quickly as you have that as your default you are pretty significantly unstoppable. Because that is the straightforward expectation, that you are likely to uncover a way to finish each individual endeavor that you’ve started out.”

Team Bend Racing from the United States
Tara Kerzhner

Publish your own epic

Developing up, Magness and his brother Andrew had two regular shops: the outdoor, and the fantasy entire world of Dungeons & Dragons. The sport performed at a table could possibly appear far from the realm of scaling mountains, but Magness sees them as complementing one another and supplying creative imagination in tricky conditions. “The creativity is a huge instrument. In any epic tale there are heroes conquering frustrating odds. When we race we appear at it this way. Like we are on a quest and becoming our own legend. All the things that go erroneous turn out to be element of our story and not a blame or a dread. When we survive a thing I allow these factors turn into bigger than lifestyle in my head, since that is pleasurable. Those are the moments you want to imprint on your soul as a human.” states Magness. “It’s empowering. You get to decide on your personal story. You can go in excess of a mountain or all around a mountain, but no make a difference the end result you keep going forward.”

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