Dirt in your skirt blog

Day 166… Heart

Posted on November 20, 2011 by Margaret Schlachter

After going on what I hope is my last spending spree before the WTM, I am sure there will be more. I have enough gear to outfit a small army of me for days in the cold. Luckily, I can justify it all because I can reuse it running, coaching skiing, and all the other activities that get me outside in the winter when most people are sitting by the fire. Today, a friend posted a YouTube video on Facebook and Doug is not one to post random videos and proclaim them awesome so when he posts I am compelled to watch.


After watching the video it reminded me to remember heart. Yes you need to train, you need to train hard and you need to enter races the best trained that you can be. Because there are “trained and untrained” to use Jason Jaksetic‘s term. You need to have the proper gear, nutrition, support crews (if allowed), and a solid plan. However, once the gun goes off, or you push out of the gate, it comes down to something else, something deep within you that true competitors have, heart!

A Former Life Ago

Heart, that thing you cannot teach, you cannot will heart. That grit, that will, that ability to cast a bobble or misstep to the side in the middle of a race, that is what truly makes a champion. My background in alpine ski racing has taught me a lot about heart, for on an average race course you miss the timing on a turn, hit a rut, get late all these things are common place. It is at that moment do you dig deep find that extra strength to recover, try to get back the speed lost you show your heart. Or do you give up take the easy way out and blow out of the course, DNF, and call it a day. The lodge is a lot more comfortable to sit in during the second run of the race than be out in sub zero temps or even worse in the springtime races, in the rain dressed in little more than spandex hurling down icy slopes.

But if you don’t take that chance fight back, push hard, you can never know the glory of victory, for each time we quite, we give up and take the easy route out, it makes it that much easier the next time to take the short-cut, the dignified exit, and never know true victory. At the end of the day as my training partner has said many times before, everyone shows up on race day trained, ready to go they all are there to compete. I would add it’s the athlete with the strongest will and heart that will come out on top.

With this, I think it is just about time to race again. I think I am ready, well mentally, my ankle is still a bit on the mend. But I can feel it within me, it’s time to race again, and race my distances. But it’s time, luckily the Super Spartan in Texas is only 2 weeks away, it will be my warm-up. Because at this point I really have my eye on one race, and one last adventure to cap off the season, WTM. It will be the greatest challenge I have taken on probably in my life. For now it’s staying in this place mentally and as Winston Churchill once said “Never, Never, Never Give Up” even when you have been knocked down, kicked down and written off once the race starts true grit, will, and heart will carry you far.