Death Race 2013 a very small recap.
It is one week since I began the Death Race. One week ago I was chomping at the bit to get started but I had to wait till 8 I had to wait. (for those not in the know; there’s rarely a good reason to be early in the DR) I suppose at this point I was at the Original General Store, contemplating the unfathomable.
In the last week I have definitely gone through many stages of PTSD. And although self inflicted it is debilitating all the same. There’s physical pain, mental anguish, and survivor’s guilt. I’ve questioned the significance of what I’ve done, the absurdity of it all. I questioned why I have a skull when others don’t and I believe they deserve it. I still can’t walk correctly. But it is the Death Race. It’s a game based so close to life itself that the participants actually exchange reality for the microcosm of the race. In the race the skull is all there is. You’re playing for a skull, which represents all you want, all your desires. Everything in the “microcosm” of the race becomes that skull.
In the race you will lie, cheat, and steal. You will bargain, you will ignore pain, and sleep. You will fore go eating, peeing, thinking. You will become a machine. You will press on as your body falls apart. You will walk in the face of all opposition. You will push your body beyond its limits and still have more to push with. Even in the face of all evidence to the contrary. You will look at other racers for help but pray they drop before you do. Anything, anything is a blessing. A goo, a water, a moment to put down your pack. A 3-mile swim is a joyful respite from walking and carrying that pack. When you exchange different forms of punishment, you find comfort in it as a break from the monotony of a previous task.
The Death Race is within us all. Every day we decide to continue on our present task or we chose not to. Some times it isn’t for us to continue. Other times we just don’t have a choice. When you reach the back side of Bloodroot in your life, you know. You know that backward is no relief to the hardship of going forward. If you know you can only go forward, why stop when you get there? And that is the difference. I never stopped when I got where I was going. I just accepted that I needed to go on to the next place. I was so slow I never got any breaks. I barely refueled or rehydrated. When I got to the reservoir I was so dehydrated that I couldn’t swallow. A gift from an Angel of a clif bar caused me to wretch but if I threw up I would lose what I did have. So I drank lake water as I swam. “You have a 100% chance of dying of dehydration. Getting ill from bad water is at worst 50/50 chance.” ~ Todd Sedlack. But this is the Death Race. And this is what Death Racers do. If you think about what’s ahead of you your already dead. If you simply do what is in front of you, getting to a lake, a farm, a house, or a tree 200ft ahead, you will survive. You have to make small goals.. You have to be aware of your present situation only. Anyway that’s how I got my skull. Call it bullshit. Call me what you want. But I finished. And my way worked. At least this time.
This is not my final polished recap. There will be more in time. Right now I need to thank the entirety of the New England Spahtens. I have tried in vein to read all of your posts of encouragement. Its too daunting a task. You people are insane. Right now however I need to say that in every sense of my words I could not have done this without the help of all of you. For the crew in Pittsfield, every small bit of help was thousands fold how it effected my race. A goo slipped into my pocket at Riverside farm gave me the energy at 3:30 in the morning to keep going. A bottle of coke at Amee farm might as well have been mythical Ambrosia. Gatorades from out of nowhere. Nutella sandwiches. Every little thing was the difference when I used them. Kind words of encouragement. Lies telling me I looked good or strong.
I will name each of you by name when I can sit and write properly. But if you saw me at anytime, please consider this my deepest gratitude.
Sandy Rhee. Half of that skull is yours. My crew chief. My Death Race Angel. I know you grieved as hard as I did. And managed to run your own race too. You have watched out for me from Rebel Run through the DR. I don’t suppose you never wanted a child only 3 years younger than you. I could never ever pick someone as awesome as you in my corner. You are simply one of a kind. With no guidance what so ever you saved me. You knew all that I didn’t. Thank you. Thank all of you.