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By James Durand

By James Durand

I raced the Snow 2 Surf last weekend and I was on a ’Survivors Team.”

It was started by a guy who survived a bear attack and he thought we should gather up a few more people who have lived through some major setbacks and celebrate our successes by punishing ourselves a little bit more while racing on skis, runners, bikes, kayaks, and canoes. Random? Yes. Punishing? Yes. Feels good to know you can still perform despite what life throws at you? Hell, yes.

So we teamed up, sorted out who would do what, and tackled it.

Now in all honesty, I don’t think anyone in this group doubted they could complete this race. We’ve all been through some pretty harrowing events (none more than our leader). This new challenge was small in comparison to surviving our pasts, but keeping the challenges coming is what keeps many of us on our toes.

The race was in the planning stages for 18 months, and in the month prior to the start day, life changed drastically for me. Staff concerns at Swicked, I somehow become the head coach for Regan’s lacrosse team, and suddenly I had some travel thrown into my schedule. The last thing I needed was one more commitment that took up a whole day.

I was torn. I had too many responsibilities, a bunch of people relying on me, and a decision to make.

Should I be selfish and bail on the race. I mean, they’re all survivors, they’ll figure out an option right? Or do I suck it up, jump on my road bike, and see if I can crush 25km like a survivor.

I scrambled, organized, and made it to the race. I don’t know if I would describe my ride as “crushing it” but I managed to pass more people than passed me and represented well enough.

It was fun, punishing, and a short forced break from reality.

So, what did I learn about surviving this weekend?

We all have the power to push through more than we probably think … if we have the desire.

None of us survives on our own. Without the help of my family, the Swicked Crew, and even my partner in coaching, this never could have happened.

And most importantly, surviving is frickin’ hard work, and we’re rarely prepared enough, but someway, somehow, we survive to tackle the next challenge.

Life, or a little weekend race, it just takes some determination and grit to get to the end.

I’m James Durand and I’m Goin’ Ridin’ … no matter what life throws at me…