Go Your Own Way


Inov-8 Trailroc 236This morning I woke up after having one of the craziest dreams of late. I dreamt that 13.3 of the CrossFit Open was announced only to find out that it entailed shearing a sheep, after which you collected a belt buckle (it weighed 20lbs), then you carried the belt buckle as you ran a couple miles, there were obstacles you had to get over along the way then check-in and turn around and run back. All of this needed to be completed under the thirty minute time cap. If you didn’t make the time cap you were judged based on your time you finished shearing the sheep. It was so vivid and detailed I could describe more but you get the point. It was bizarre to say the least.


As I woke up this morning and thought about it more it dawned on my. This dream incorporated all of the things I love to do in racing and competing into one dream. The shearing a sheep was a nod to races like Survival Run and Death Race. The belt buckle is synonymous with ultra running, and it’s weight was akin to GORUCKs and other races you carry lots of weight. Finally the run had a direct connection to trail running and obstacle course racing. Finally the time cap and the scoring was a direct connection to CrossFit. As someone stated, I officially have race brain.


The dream really spoke to me and deeply affected me this morning, not in it’s silliness or randomness but in the fact that my subconscious is systematically telling me what I have been feeling in my gut recently. There are so many things in this world I want to do athletically and new adventures I want to try the thought of having to give up any of them for another thing is terrifying. Recently I was offered a contract to sign exclusively with one race organization. As I watched friends around me sign contracts and announce excitedly they were now a professional racer, I wondered a little if I made the right decision.  Once again I found myself taking the road less traveled, going my own way.



Then last night this dream and recent conversations cemented in my mind, I am going in the right direction. My race schedule often is sporadic, a mixture of obstacle course races, ultra marathons, and a few other trail races mixed in for fun. I am competing in the CrossFit Open this year as well which is totally different from everything else. Basically, I am the oddball at the table that likes to dip my feet into all the different pools.


Does this make me the best possible athlete I could be at any particular sport? Probably not. However, it does make me happy. I love slipping between the trail running, obstacle racing, and CrossFit world. I love the diversity it brings in my friends and conversations. But most importantly it is what makes ME happy.


liking_doingGoing from a non-athlete to a sponsored athlete in the span of three years is a jump most people will never have the opportunity to make in their lifetime. I am eternally grateful for the experiences, opportunities and bit of luck I have had. At times over the past year or two I found myself getting caught up in it all, seeing the Hollywood side of it all and getting sucked into it. It is easy to loose site of why you started it all and forget about the fun of it all.


This happened to me once before in sport as a young person ski racing full-time. I often forgot about not only how lucky I was to be able to ski race and train seven days a week. After years of dedicating my life to sport fully, I had lost the “fun factor” and I no longer derived happiness from competing, it became my job. This all happened before the age of eighteen. Years later I literally find my job to be my sport. They are one in the same, this time I am keeping it fresh, going my own way, and ultimately putting my happiness above all others expectations.


So this year you will not only find me on the obstacle race course competing, but on the trails running all sorts of distances, in the CrossFit box breaking new PR’s and figuring out a muscle up. You will also find me NOT COMPETING but spending time hiking, fast packing, playing with my chickens, growing our own food, and above all creating a life that makes me happy. Most of all I will be going my own way!


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Margaret Schlachter

About Margaret Schlachter

Margaret Schlachter is Founder of She has been part of the OCR Community since 2010. When not working on the next article she can be found running from race-to-race. She is Editor-in-Chief of She authored the book Obstacle Race Training.
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