Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Vital Trail Training - Bearditude (Tude of the Beard)

I have been studying the pictures from the Appalachian Trail recently and have noticed that any training I may have done previously may have been focused on the wrong area. I stole the next 3 pictures from facebook to demonstrate my point. The 3 individuals pictured below from left to right are Fisherman's Friend, Crash, and Tumbleweed. They have all hiked from Maine down to Virginia thus far and I will be meeting up with them on Friday. I realize that they have grown into hardcore endurance athletes over the course of the trip but that is not the growth that I believe to be most crucial... they all share one common element that fuels their success.

Look here at Tumblweed (AKA BOB). Before departing he was incapable of any facial growth except for that small patch under the lower-lip now his beard required 2 quarts of 10W-30 every month to keep him running.

Don't even get me started on this guy. He has spent a 2 seasons up in Alaska perfecting the shore-to-shore beard but without the cold winds of the ocean I was uncertain if his beard would follow him down into the lower 48 but it has only grown more enchanting. One can tell from the photo that it now has the ability to control snakes.

In realizing my efforts up to this point have been on physical endurance and not beard awesomeness I have resorted to searching the past for signs of hope for my bearditude. The beard photoed below was captured last year but it has become my new focus of motivation for my current attempt.

Knowing that I hit the trail on Friday I have focused all of my efforts on starting a beard that will fuel my adventure and this morning I awoke with beginnings show below. I fell asleep clean shaven but with a dream of the future and after great physical exhaustion I now have a chance of survival on the trail.