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 few hours the group had clambered their manner by means of a dense, steep valley they believed would carry 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. Workforce 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 in a position to transfer below his personal energy. Inside 14 hours from the beginning, Bend Racing slid from first place to almost final, not sure in regards to the well being of Staudigel (pictured under), or if they’d have a possibility 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 means of 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 heart of the Fijian island of Viti Levu. Inevitably drained, confused, and with frustrations mounting, the staff once more discovered their race in jeopardy.

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

Team Bend Racing Adventure Eco Challenge
Christian Pondella/Amazon

Workforce 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’ve gotten an occasion the place a 3rd of the 66 succesful groups wouldn’t even end, you must ask what talents issue with a purpose to full the race past health and orienteering?

Magness cites abilities like discovering the trail emotionally, psychologically, and with the folks round you. It’s one thing he and his twin brother (and unique climbing associate) Andrew keyed into first watching the Eco-Problem on tv collectively. “My brother and I actually acquired 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 preventing? We knew sufficient from our climbing expeditions that preventing was the surest option to have your whole plans go astray. These are the folks you are attempting to outlive with.”

Getting un-lost from a Fijian mountainside may seem removed from the day by 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 house, as being on the identical map. The smooth abilities Workforce Bend Racing frequently hones had been examined in Fiji. Right here, Magness shares perception into how they carried the staff to finish the Eco-Problem.

Jason Magness from Team Bend Racing Eco Challenge

Be sincere with your self and people round you

“We’ve got vent classes. You need to work to permit folks’s emotions to be legitimate. Whether or not the premise behind them is appropriate or incorrect is a special dialog. However the emotions themselves are legitimate. As soon as we really feel heard in that sense it’s simpler to not simply maintain preventing and maintain going right into a darkish place. It takes the wind out of the sails of that unfavorable emotion. Issues are probably the most harmful if you find yourself resisting them.” Magness, who co-founded Bend Racing along with his spouse and oftentimes teammate Chelsey Magness, values this honesty inside the staff which performs a big position for a bigger philosophy each within the sport and at giant that he can’t emphasize sufficient, “You need to worth relationships.”


Give discomfort an opportunity

“We’ve got a rule that at any level any certainly one of us can say, ‘I’m performed with this, I need to go house.’ There is no such thing as a judgment,” says Magness, understanding in these races that if a staff member quits, your complete group’s race is completed. “But it surely comes with a caveat. When you determine that, we proceed for twenty-four hours, and when that point has handed, see in the event you nonetheless really feel that manner.”

The arbitrary time interval acts as a structured mechanism to permit somebody the power to undergo a course of with their circumstances. A staff 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 will likely be the fitting name. “When you get comfy with being uncomfortable you open up your potentialities. Typically we react too early and rob ourselves of a possibility 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 just a few events for restricted time, and function by means of a lot of the 400-mile occasion largely sleep disadvantaged. Magness argues generally resting is the most effective factor you are able to do for your self, however usually neglected. If you’re exhausted, or having issue fixing an argument, generally the most suitable choice is to take an previous piece of recommendation: Sleep on it, and see the place you might be afterward. That is precisely what Bend Racing determined was the most effective plan of action throughout making an attempt instances misplaced searching for Vuwa Falls. “That is among the finest 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 acquired to mentally reset.”

Keep pointed towards the optimistic—and rejoice even small success

“You need to see your self succeeding. It turns into this driving psychological image and also you don’t even must know the way it’s going to occur however you’ve gotten this general picture of success. We set these little tiny targets in order that we’ve successes, and we’re very cognizant of doing that in our race once we don’t really know if we will 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 mentioned earlier than he went to mattress was that he succeeded at one thing. The subsequent morning numerous the success for Dan was if may drink a mouthful of water, that was it. Regardless of the job forward is, the final 10 belongings you did, you succeeded at. And so the subsequent job additionally, you will.

As quickly as you drop out when issues get laborious, you might be setting neurological patterns. Fortunately our sample is we are going to discover our manner by means of something as a result of that’s what has all the time occurred. As quickly as you’ve gotten that as your default you might be just about unstoppable. As a result of that’s the sincere expectation, that you will discover a option 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 shops: 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 instrument. In any epic story there are heroes overcoming overwhelming odds. After we race we have a look at it this manner. Like we’re on a quest and changing into our personal legend. All of the issues that go fallacious develop into a part of our story and never a blame or a concern. After we survive one thing I let this stuff develop into bigger than life in my thoughts, as a result of that’s enjoyable. These are the moments you need to imprint in your soul as a human.” says Magness. “It’s empowering. You get to decide on your personal story. You possibly can go over a mountain or round a mountain, however regardless of the result you retain transferring ahead.”

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