Darkish had set on the Fijian rainforest. Within the mud and rain, Jason Magness and his teammates occurred upon a bamboo body. They draped a tarp over, and made camp for the evening. The previous couple of hours the group had clambered their approach by a dense, steep valley they believed would deliver them to the bottom of Vuwa Falls—a tiered, thousand-foot cascade they wanted to ascend—solely to find they made navigational errors and had simply spent the day traversing the fallacious valley.

Magness, Daniel Staudigel, Melissa Coombes, and Stephen Thompson of Team Bend Racing had been in Fiji collaborating within the 2019 Eco-Problem, an 11-day, 400-mile journey race aired on Amazon Prime Video in August 2020 because the World’s Toughest Race. Group Bend began the multi-discipline event sprinting to a lead of their outrigger canoe. Then trekking on the island of Ovalau, Staudigel succumbed to extreme warmth sickness, and was barely capable of transfer underneath his personal energy. Inside 14 hours from the beginning, Bend Racing slid from first place to almost final, not sure concerning the well being of Staudigel (pictured beneath), or if they’d have a chance to complete.

Team Bend Racing from the United States
Tara Kerzhner/Amazon

5 days and almost 280 miles later, slogging on sleep deprivation and sufferfest-ing throughout the South Pacific surroundings by levels of trekking, whitewater rafting, and mountain biking, Staudigel’s well being improved, and Bend Racing was rallying in celebratory spirits. That was, till they discovered themselves misplaced in a valley someplace within the middle of the Fijian island of Viti Levu. Inevitably drained, confused, and with frustrations mounting, the workforce once more discovered their race in jeopardy.

The spoiler: Magness and firm reached Vuwa Falls and finally the perfect end of any American workforce, in seven and a half days and 14th place.

Team Bend Racing Adventure Eco Challenge
Christian Pondella/Amazon

Group Bend Racing was removed from the one group encountering points. Wilderness survival conditions are par for the course in the course of the Eco-Challenge. However when you may have an occasion the place a 3rd of the 66 succesful groups wouldn’t even end, you need to ask what skills issue with a view to full the race past health and orienteering?

Magness cites expertise like discovering the trail emotionally, psychologically, and with the folks round you. It’s one thing he and his twin brother (and authentic climbing associate) Andrew keyed into first watching the Eco-Problem on tv collectively. “My brother and I actually bought into climbing and mountaineering, and did some huge climbs and first ascents going into our 20s,” says Magness. “I keep in mind seeing the Eco-Problem on TV. In a few of these early variations of it they confirmed much more of the divisiveness and complaining on the groups. We had been watching and asking one another why they had been combating? We knew sufficient from our climbing expeditions that combating was the surest solution to have all your plans go astray. These are the folks you are attempting to outlive with.”

Getting un-lost from a Fijian mountainside would possibly seem removed from the every day trials of most, however Magness, who has participated in journey races since 2003, sees adversity, whether or not it’s within the wilderness or at dwelling, as being on the identical map. The comfortable expertise Group Bend Racing regularly hones had been examined in Fiji. Right here, Magness shares perception into how they carried the workforce to finish the Eco-Problem.

Jason Magness from Team Bend Racing Eco Challenge

Be sincere with your self and people round you

“We now have vent periods. You must work to permit folks’s emotions to be legitimate. Whether or not the idea behind them is right or incorrect is a distinct dialog. However the emotions themselves are legitimate. As soon as we really feel heard in that sense it’s simpler to not simply maintain combating and maintain going right into a darkish place. It takes the wind out of the sails of that destructive emotion. Issues are probably the most harmful if you end up resisting them.” Magness, who co-founded Bend Racing together with his spouse and oftentimes teammate Chelsey Magness, values this honesty inside the workforce which performs a major function for a bigger philosophy each within the sport and at massive that he can’t emphasize sufficient, “You must worth relationships.”


Give discomfort an opportunity

“We now have a rule that at any level any certainly one of us can say, ‘I’m executed with this, I wish to go dwelling.’ There isn’t any judgment,” says Magness, understanding in these races that if a workforce member quits, all the group’s race is completed. “However it comes with a caveat. When you determine that, we proceed for twenty-four hours, and when that point has handed, see if you happen to nonetheless really feel that approach.”

The arbitrary time interval acts as a structured mechanism to permit somebody the flexibility to undergo a course of with their circumstances. A workforce member initiates the clause in nearly each occasion, however they’ve but to throw within the towel, they usually know in the event that they ever do it is going to be the proper name. “When you get snug with being uncomfortable you open up your prospects. Typically we react too early and rob ourselves of a chance to develop and adapt.”

Eco-Challenge Fiji Team Bend Racing
Krystle Wright/Amazon

Don’t overlook the ability of relaxation

In a 24-hour open racecourse sleep comes at a premium. Groups sleep on only some events for restricted time, and function by many of the 400-mile occasion largely sleep disadvantaged. Magness argues typically resting is the perfect factor you are able to do for your self, however usually neglected. If you’re exhausted, or having issue fixing an argument, typically the best choice is to take an outdated piece of recommendation: Sleep on it, and see the place you’re afterward. That is precisely what Bend Racing determined was the perfect plan of action throughout making an attempt occasions misplaced in quest of Vuwa Falls. “That is among the greatest reset buttons there may be and never sufficient groups know when to make use of it. It didn’t work in our favor for the rest besides that we bought to mentally reset.”

Keep pointed towards the constructive—and have a good time even small success

“You must see your self succeeding. It turns into this driving psychological image and also you don’t even need to know the way it’s going to occur however you may have this total picture of success. We set these little tiny objectives in order that we’ve got successes, and we’re very cognizant of doing that in our race after we don’t truly know if we are able to maintain going.

When Dan had warmth exhaustion we had been dragging him up a mountain for 3 hours that took most groups half an hour. The very last thing we stated earlier than he went to mattress was that he succeeded at one thing. The following morning a whole lot of the success for Dan was if might drink a mouthful of water, that was it. Regardless of the job forward is, the final 10 stuff you did, you succeeded at. And so the following job additionally, you will.

As quickly as you drop out when issues get onerous, you’re setting neurological patterns. Fortunately our sample is we’ll discover our approach by something as a result of that’s what has at all times occurred. As quickly as you may have that as your default you’re just about unstoppable. As a result of that’s the sincere expectation, that you will discover a solution to end each endeavor that you just’ve began.”

Team Bend Racing from the United States
Tara Kerzhner

Write your personal epic

Rising up, Magness and his brother Andrew had two fixed retailers: the outside, and the fantasy world of Dungeons & Dragons. The sport performed at a desk may appear removed from the realm of scaling mountains, however Magness sees them as complementing each other and offering creativity in tough circumstances. “The creativeness is a large software. In any epic story there are heroes overcoming overwhelming odds. Once we race we take a look at it this fashion. Like we’re on a quest and changing into our personal legend. All of the issues that go fallacious change into a part of our story and never a blame or a concern. Once we survive one thing I let this stuff change into bigger than life in my thoughts, as a result of that’s enjoyable. These are the moments you wish to imprint in your soul as a human.” says Magness. “It’s empowering. You get to decide on your personal story. You’ll be able to go over a mountain or round a mountain, however regardless of the result you retain shifting ahead.”

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