As an athlete, goals are the map that can take you from your first 5K or mountain bike ride to the XTERRA World Championship. As a person, the beginning of January is also the time to decide not just what we want to do, but who we want to be.
Or, in the words of legendary football coach George Allen, "Try not to do too many things at once, and know what you want."
Right after New Year's, we polled some of the most successful XTERRA triathletes and trail runners and asked them what their dreams are for the year ahead.
Josiah Middaugh, 2015 XTERRA World Champ - I turn 40 in 2018, and I think I am showing all of the warning signs of a mid-life crisis. I was thinking about a sports car, but I don't really like to drive. I've been listening to a lot of 90's alternative rock and taking suggestions for a tattoo. I got my old guitar out recently but it made my fingers hurt. In 2018 I plan to be spontaneous, unpredictable, and increasingly unstable. I've been watching our two house cats and taking notes.
Laura Morris, XTERRA Pan Am Champ - In 2017, I had a year full of breaking my bike and myself. I couldn’t figure it out until I realized I just wasn’t paying attention. You’ve got to pay attention in this game!
Jordan Winar, XTERRA Regional Champ - I love resolutions and can't wait for March when the XTERRA Bluebonnet kicks off in Texas. I have been taking Kyle Grieser's training advice of shoveling the snow with my shirt off because he said that's how he gets faster in the offseason. I am hoping his advice pays off? I had so much fun last year racing XTERRA and making so many great friends. I want to continue to share my story with others so they can have the life-changing experience XTERRA has given to me when the Tribe welcomed me in.
Mimi Stockton, XTERRA Age-Group World Champ - I absolutely believe in making improvements, setting goals, and implementing disciplines. But my need for that kind of structure rarely shows up on January 1. For me, growth means paying attention to what is needed during any given season—or moment-- and adjusting as I go. If there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s that no one experiences my best self when I’m following a “should.” At one point in my life, this was my primary way of functioning. But since I broke free and took ownership of my decisions, my “should” radar is strong. Instead of a resolution, my word for the year is "focus." This will be my challenge for the year—to learn how to focus, to be in the moment, to put away the phone and the computer and to sit down and really listen.
Joseph Gray, XTERRA Trail Run World Champ - My main goal this year is to raise more money from race winnings to put more toward the Candlelighters of Southern Colorado. This is a childhood cancer center which helps families dealing with childhood cancers and blood disorders.
Dani Moreno, XTERRA Trail Run World Champ - My New Year's resolution is to participate in races that my friends and family can run in as well. This past fall one of my favorite races was one where I was sick. Instead of racing, I got to cheer on all my friends. When you're an elite runner it's easy to get caught up in always competing and racing to win. However, what is cool about our sport is that the post-race events are so much fun and can be shared with those closest to you. I personally hope to get my parents out to more events, even if it's just doing the shortest distance.
Steve Croucher, XTERRA Pan Am Champ - I got engaged so this year I’m trying to help plan a wedding without screwing it up. This season, I plan to do a couple of regional XTERRA races, and I'd love to get back to the XTERRA Pan Am Championship. I love that course.
Charlotte Mahan, XTERRA Ambassador - I am just focusing on fun this year, wherever I can find it. In 2012, my doctor told me I shouldn't run again because of my knee, but I'm still going. I am already signed up for the XTERRA Fort Yargo Trail run. Nozomi and James Wade will be spending the night with me and we will travel together. That should be fun!
Tom Dhans, XTERRA Ambassador - I don’t really believe in resolutions. I think it’s better to have commitments and not only make them January first. Last year, I competed in both XTERRA Worlds and in the XTERRA Trail Run World Championship. In 2018, I'm already looking forward to XTERRA Oak Mountain. I’m also racing two half Ironmans and two 140.6’s - one will be in Nice, France with one of the most challenging bikes in all Ironman. This year, I'd also like to spend more time on things that bring me peace, like writing and practicing the guitar more. (But Oscar Wilde and Eddie Van Halen need not worry.) I'd also like to continue to promote XTERRA and the Live More lifestyle through example by encouraging athletes to push their limits and try different races and distances.
Simon Edgett, XTERRA trail runner - I just came across this great quote by Michelangelo: "The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark." It really resonated with me. I set some big goals that have the possibility of failure built in, but I am not going to let myself fail. For 2018 I have set my mileage goal at 2500 miles this year with an elevation goal of 250,000 feet. I think it is reasonable. If I run 50 miles and 5000 feet a week I should reach it. I am definitely running the three 50k XTERRA races in the XTERRA Northeast Series.
Mike Barro, XTERRA St. Louis race director - I am resolved to making the 2018 XTERRA season the absolute best yet, both personally and professionally. We are excited about the change in venue in 2018 for XTERRA STL. It is a real challenging course, and already, our pre-registration numbers are twice what we hoped for. Personally, I am resolved to avenge my 4th place at Maui 7 years ago with a podium spot on 2018. I have now moved into the 50-54 AG and with my weight loss and commitment to an annual training plan I am bullish on my chances.
Jenny Burden, XTERRA triathlete - I'm not typically a "resolution" setter, but I always do try to pick a goal. This year, it's pretty lofty, as I signed up for my first 100-mile mountain bike race. I'm going to use my XTERRA training to ensure balance and cross-training since it'll keep me running and swimming while I add more and more miles to the bike. I picked this goal specifically because the climbing at XTERRA Worlds felt like it was going to kill me, and I want to get better! (What doesn't kill you forces you to get stronger so you for sure don't die the next time, I guess!) My other goal is to focus on gratitude and also on regulating myself when it comes to saying "yes" too much. I want to focus on the great things I have going in my life, especially when I feel overwhelmed and frustrated or sad if not everything is going to plan. Mountain biking is my mental health and "me" time, so I work hard to balance it with my other priorities.
Jo May, XTERRA Trail Run Ambassador - I really don’t make resolutions; just determinations. This year, I am determined to make more time for getting in better shape. I’ve had a very heavy workload in my practice for several years and it has affected my running and my general fitness level. Somehow, some way, I am going to get back in the pool and the weight room and maybe on the bike too.
Deanna McCurdy, 2017 Ms. XTERRA - I want 2018 to be a big year although it is going to be hard to top the adventures and finish lines of 2017! I hope to kick off a coaching business, Wings to Fly Racing, a new division of our Miles for Smiles team. I see so many people like myself who are juggling family, work, and life challenges, but they long for something more for themselves. I would love to help them achieve their goal giving them their own wings to fly, while also finding balance in training, family, and life. I also hope to raise more money for Angelman Syndrome Research and to continue to attempt new things because isn't that what life is about - living once and living fearlessly!
Darren Brown, XTERRA Beaver Creek 20K Champ - My resolution is to be more "present" in what I'm doing ... whatever that may be. This applies to work, training, and especially family ... even personal time. I would say that I am a very good juggler and strong multi-tasker, and when it comes to jamming a lot into a day, I can get it done. That said, my various roles and responsibilities seem to bleed into one another and it causes me to not be completely there in anything. I think it's important to compartmentalize your priorities. It's like giving them mini-deadlines, which we all know are important for staying on task and timeline anyways. Get to the end of it, wrap it up and move on ... completely.
Kathy Lockwood, XTERRA triathlete - I don't make new year's resolutions but I do follow advice from many of the coaching articles about taking time at the end of the season to reflect and think about what went well and what areas could I improve on. Here are three things I want to work on: 1) getting into the weight room on a more regular basis, 2) taking a day or two each week to focus more on mountain biking and swimming skills and drills rather than pounding out miles and fast Strava segments and 3) taking a risk and tackling a trail I haven't had the guts to get down before!
Sergio Florian, XTERRA triathlete and trail runner - My resolutions are things I want to improve on in three areas: personal, professional, and athletic. They have to be in balance. This year my goal is to spend more time with my family and involve them more in my training. We're starting with hikes and bike rides and things we can do together that also help maintain my fitness. Professionally my goal is to grow the Wellness Neuro and SCI Clinic my wife and I opened last year. Athletically my resolution is to finish the HURT 100 ultra marathon one week from today. I'm also going to try to run a sub 3 PR at Boston in April. And if slots are given out at Hawaii 70.3 this year, I might try for a Kona slot as well. If that's the case I would definitely have to do "The Outrigger Resorts Double." Doing both Kona and XTERRA Worlds is something very few have done.