Jason Jaksetic, Spartan’s own Barn Beast, set out this year to redefine himself as an athlete. In a recent profile about Jaksetic, he said, “I went to Kona, and I wanted to be a pro Ironman. I got sick of it all.” He was hitting what he calls “the reset button” on the overwhelming, on failure, and on pain as an athlete.
“We turn off pain and then give it a negative connotation. Anything that is worth doing is going to hurt. Running away from pain is running away from physical, mental, and spiritual greatness.”
Jaksetic is no stranger to pain. He recently competed in the Peak Race’s McNaughton 150. McNaughton is an ultramarathon in Pittsfield, VT, where Jaksetic DNF’d at mile 55 of the 150 mile course. As an endurance athlete, you come to expect bad racing days, it’s inevitable. But to Jaksetic, what transpired at McNaughton was unexpected and he was silent about the event until now. In a recent blog post on his own site, www.jasonjaksetic.com, he finally opened up and shared his feelings, his pain, and his outlook on a race that just didn’t go according to plan.
From Jason’s original blog post: Silence the Strongest Euphemism
Fuck the euphemisms.
I’ve been shouting toned-down-reality within my mute shouting.
I failed. Lost. Broke. Came up short.
I went bigger than my capabilities. Too short to ride this ride. Go home. Do not pass go. Do not collect your medal.
I DNF’d the McNaughton 150.
It should be obvious at this point. I haven’t posted since pre race projections and plans.
Surely, by this point, everyone can deduce that things didn’t go according to plan.
Why the delay? A simple fact of human nature to which I am now privy.
We are programmed to litter the data-scape with our accomplishments.
Photos of sonograms. Relationship status changes. Links to race results. Notices of office promotions. Wedding photos. Anecdotes about the greatest nights of our life…
Even Friday is a proclamation of success. “I made it to the weekend. I live for the weekend. TGIF! The 5/7ths of my life I hate didn’t get to me this week!”
Maybe it’s time to announce the times we didn’t make it to Friday, so to speak?
Photos of funerals. Explanations of our relationship status changes involving our infidelities and other inadequacies. Links to our DNF’s. Divorce proceeding announcements on Facebook?
People look at social media and proclaim the beginning of a confessional society. People transparent and open about their secrets – leveling them out before the whole web. An honesty and development of self reflection and confiding in others.
Nope. Only idealistic avatars for the most part run free on the range of our public face.
We confess only our successes.
Wake up. It’s a farce.
Where is rock bottom and failure in our resumes?
And I’m as big a part of the joke as anyone.
And I’m ready to make amends and move forward.
So, yes. I bombed the McNaughton 150. I was over-hyped.
I wrote checks my body couldn’t cash.
I let people down. I painted expectations that were farther than my reach. We can spout many many things and reach very few.
My absence from writing the last few weeks has convinced me of an irreparable shortcoming of the human ego to stand upon the shoulders of a failure.
But here that’s exactly what I’m going to do.
I own my DNF. I’m cultivating the DNF. I’m ruling this DNF. I’m ruling every DNF.
And crafting this into pre-race supplement for the Peak 50 and the Death Race and a Double Ironman.
And each of these future events offers yet an other avenue for public disgrace.
And my arms are wide open for it!
Rise upon your failures, stand upon them as a stack of bodies. Bodies of former selves you’ve slain and are climbing upon.
Note to self: get over yourself!