Updated: Sep 27
This story begins a couple months back in October of 2021. I was in a cabin with 20 strangers (another story definitely worth the read) and one of those strangers (Spencer Rose) was planning on doing what was called "The Skydive Ultra."
I'm the type of person to usually always say yes to new challenges, and for the most part I go through with them no matter how much I hate myself for it.
The Skydive Ultra is a race in Florida where you jump out of a plane from 14,000 ft, head over to the start line, and then run whatever length you signed up for. There are choices ranging from a 10k to over 100 miles!
Spencer was signed up for the Skydive Marathon (29mi), so I thought...
"Fine LET'S DO IT!"
I had just met Spencer and heard about this insanity of a race. My spontaneous brain was in full gear.
For some background, the most and fastest I had ever run was a 12-minute mile at this point. The marathon was only 3 months away, but I was determined.
After heading back home from Colorado I started "training."
See, training for me consisted of walking and sometimes jogging maybe a mile every other day.
I think the fastest mile I ran was a 10-minute mile. I felt like I was sprinting to make that time (if you have short legs like me you can relate)
January was coming around and I was mentally feeling good. All I had on my mind was the race, and the skydive was another battle I was going to deal with day of. I knew physically I NEEDED to train hard this last month before the race, and I had all plans and intentions to do so!
I live in California and decide to make a road trip out to Florida for two reasons
To get to the race.
I accidentally fell in love with this Spencer guy and was moving all my belongings and my car over to Florida where he lives.
Along this road trip, I caught this virus called Covid-19, don't know if you've heard of it.
I arrived in Florida and immediately was hit by 10 semi-trucks, lost a lung worth of breathing, and couldn't stop vomiting and sleeping all day.
(Just as a note, I was fully vaccinated, young, and healthy. Stay safe everyone)
A week before the race I tried to go out for a run to see how I was feeling. I was beating myself up in the head over whether I could run this thing or have to quit.
Here are the results to that "run"
It was a mental battle between risk and reward.
I do not say yes to opportunities and not pull through, but at the same time, I can barely walk how the f*** am I supposed to
Jump out of a perfectly good plane.
Then run 29 miles.
Two nights away from the race, I started to recover a bit. Lungs hurting, still sleeping 14 hours a day, but mentally fully determined.
"If I have to walk 12 hours to finish this damn race, I WILL WALK...or crawl." I thought to myself.
A day before the race I started to get real with myself. I just wasn't recovered enough to participate.
Do I quit all together? Do I skydive, and not run?
Lucky for me, the event organizer had heard my story and let me know I could bump my race down to a Half instead.
I had a lot of mixed emotions. I did not want to be the only one on my team running only a half. I didn't want to let myself down, let my team down. I also thought about how I wouldn't be letting myself down by running a whole Half MARATHON, especially as someone who isn't a runner!
It was a hard yet needed to be made decision. I bumped down to a half.
The alarm f*cking blares through the hotel room, waking us all up from our long 5-hour rest.
We get ready, stretch, and head down to grab some free breakfast, and drive our tired selves to the skydive facility.
My team all heads into their plane, do their jumps and start their marathon.
The winds were a little iffy, so my plane got delayed, about 1.5 hours go by after my team started their race.
While waiting for my plane, I was hoping with everything in me that the winds would be too much, that they would have to cancel my jump. My previous jump was a terrible experience, both emotionally and physically. I cried the whole way up and landed with a neck injury. I was terrified to jump again.
"Go grab that jumpsuit and meet me here to harness up." - Tandem Instructor Miki
Gosh f0ck1ng DAMMITTTT
We harness up, go up the plane, I keep my eyes shut the entire time.
Next thing I know, I'm plummeting 14,000 feet down to the earth.
It was the best jump I ever had. I even got to pull my own chute!
"Okay that was fun! what now? wait, OH YEAH"
I have to go run 16 miles...great.
Honestly, the run was not nearly as bad as I thought, besides the fact that I was running with winds stronger than that damn Covid-19 bug, and grass almost as tall as me.
A couple teammates ended early on in the race due to injuries and soreness :(
Still so proud of them, these people are flipping warriors!
At the end of the day, I re-found my love for Skydiving, and sparked a love for running.
I definitely can say we all agree that this was one of the hardest things to accomplish, but most rewarding.
Smiles after finishing our race!
Also, we all were walking like this for the next few days