Welcome to my Journey of Running with Eric Orton – A Story of an Unruly Athlete and Reluctant Competitor

Running in the Tetons with Eric Orton (9 of 9)
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I’ve called Jackson Hole home for over 10 years now.  I moved to the Tetons out of an obsession with skiing, and ended up staying year round because of what you might call a “single track mind”.   Over the years, when the trails weren’t covered in snow, I would spend as much time as I could exploring the vast network of single track trails across Teton valley and into Idaho.  It started out as hiking and backpacking, then mountain biking, some running and then dirt biking.   You might say any sport that you can do on a dirt trail, I’ve tried.

AC Dirt Bike
Somewhere, July 2013

I’m self-taught (hence the numerous injuries) and I have never really trained for anything.   I’ve just always been looking for adventure, adrenaline, fun and a sense of accomplishment in the mountains.  I’m not super competitive–More than anything, I’m super social with a need to be constantly moving and exploring.

grand-teton-summit-view-jackson-hole-exum
Summit of the Grand Teton, August 2014

But now that I am middle-aged and working (MAAW), and constantly a bit beat up from my haphazard approach to sports – I’m ready to focus and spend time on actually training in the mountains.  This summer, I have the good fortune to work with Eric Orton as I prepare for his Mountain Running Academy in August.  Training and completing this three day camp will be my first milestone step before competing in the Jackson Hole Run to the Summit Series next summer.  The Run to the Summit Series is three races that take runners up three different mountains in Jackson Hole: Snow King, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and Grand Targhee.  In total these races cover over 11 miles and 7,500 elevation gain.  For me, this seems to be a challenging, but an attainable goal.

The scariest part of this whole process will be overcoming my own fears and limitations.  Will I improve?  What if I suck?  What if I’m the slowest person at camp? We all have these types of thoughts and fears of the unknown, and with this blog, I’ll be laying it all out there while I seek my Cool Impossible in the mountains.  So, stay tuned for updates from my summer journey into a “mountain runner”.  Good luck Eric Orton, here comes an unruly athlete and reluctant competitor.

Running in the Tetons with Eric Orton (9 of 9)

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