Adversity Lessons Learned the Hard Way in the ‘World’s Toughest Race’

Dark had dwelling on the Fijian rainforest. In the mud and rain, Jason Magness and his teammates occurred upon a bamboo body. They draped a tarp over, and made camp for the night. The last few hours the community had clambered their skill by means of a dense, steep valley they believed would bring them to the notorious of Vuwa Falls—a tiered, thousand-foot cascade they wanted to ascend—handiest to sight they made navigational errors and had factual spent the day traversing the execrable valley.

Magness, Daniel Staudigel, Melissa Coombes, and Stephen Thompson of Workforce Bend Racing were in Fiji taking part in the 2019 Eco-Downside, an 11-day, 400-mile adventure flee aired on Amazon Top Video in August 2020 because the World’s Hardest Urge. Workforce Bend started the multi-self-discipline tournament sprinting to a lead in their outrigger canoe. Then trekking on the island of Ovalau, Staudigel succumbed to extreme heat illness, and changed into barely in a space to transfer below his contain energy. Inside 14 hours from the originate up, Bend Racing slid from first attach to almost final, doubtful in regards to the smartly being of Staudigel (pictured below), or if they’d have a chance to enact.

Tara Kerzhner/Amazon

5 days and nearly 280 miles later, slogging on sleep deprivation and sufferfest-ing across the South Pacific atmosphere by means of phases of trekking, whitewater rafting, and mountain biking, Staudigel’s smartly being improved, and Bend Racing changed into rallying in celebratory spirits. That changed into, till they found themselves lost in a valley someplace in the guts of the Fijian island of Viti Levu. Inevitably tired, at a loss for words, and with frustrations mounting, the team as soon as more found their flee in jeopardy.

The spoiler: Magness and firm reached Vuwa Falls and sooner or later the finest enact of any American team, in seven and a half days and 14th attach.

Christian Pondella/Amazon

Workforce Bend Racing changed into removed from the handiest community encountering components. Desolate tract survival eventualities are par for the course for the length of the Eco-Downside. However whilst you happen to’ve got an tournament where a third of the 66 dependable teams would no longer even enact, or no longer it’s far well-known to ask what abilities ingredient in sigh to total the flee past smartly being and orienteering?

Magness cites abilities fancy finding the course emotionally, psychologically, and with the other folks around you. It’s one thing he and his twin brother (and unique ice climbing accomplice) Andrew keyed into first watching the Eco-Downside on television together. “My brother and I undoubtedly received into ice climbing and ice climbing, and did some monumental climbs and first ascents going into our 20s,” says Magness. “I take into account seeing the Eco-Downside on TV. In some of those early variations of it they confirmed scheme more of the divisiveness and complaining on the teams. We were watching and asking each and each quite loads of why they were combating? We knew sufficient from our ice climbing expeditions that combating changed into the surest skill to have your entire plans creep astray. Those are the other folks you are trying to survive with.”

Getting un-lost from a Fijian mountainside can also seem removed from the each day trials of most, but Magness, who has participated in adventure races since 2003, sees adversity, whether or no longer it be in the desolate tract or at home, as being on the same blueprint. The soft abilities Workforce Bend Racing consistently hones were tested in Fiji. Here, Magness shares perception into how they carried the team to total the Eco-Downside.


Be factual along with your self and those around you

“We now have gotten vent sessions. You must work to permit other folks’s feelings to be dependable. Whether the foundation on the help of them is correct or flawed is a determined conversation. However the sentiments themselves are dependable. After we undoubtedly feel heard in that sense it’s more straightforward now to no longer factual withhold combating and withhold going into a darkish attach. It takes the wind out of the sails of that harmful emotion. Things are the most lethal whilst you happen to are resisting them.” Magness, who co-based Bend Racing along with his companion and oftentimes teammate Chelsey Magness, values this honesty interior the team which performs a vital honest for a better philosophy both in the game and at generous that he can’t emphasize sufficient, “You must charge relationships.”

Give discomfort a chance

“We now have gotten a rule that at any point any even handed one of us can explain, ‘I’m done with this, I would favor to head home.’ There might be no longer any judgment,” says Magness, realizing in these races that if a team member quits, the entire community’s flee is done. “However it comes with a caveat. At the same time as you recall out that, we continue for 24 hours, and when that point has passed, sight whilst you happen to continue to undoubtedly feel that implies.”

The arbitrary time length acts as a structured mechanism to permit somebody the flexibility to battle by means of a job with their conditions. A team member initiates the clause in precisely about every tournament, but they’ve yet to throw in the towel, and they know if they ever imprint it might be the factual call. “At the same time as you fetch cosy with being gloomy you open up your prospects. Regularly we react too early and take away ourselves of a chance to grow and adapt.”

Krystle Wright/Amazon

Don’t fail to see the capacity of relaxation

In a 24-hour open racecourse sleep comes at a top charge. Groups sleep on handiest a number of occasions for cramped time, and performance by means of most of the 400-mile tournament largely sleep disadvantaged. Magness argues every so continuously resting is the finest ingredient you might possibly perchance possibly imprint to your self, but most steadily neglected. If you happen to are exhausted, or having divulge solving an argument, every so continuously the finest option is to take an broken-down portion of recommendation: Sleep on it, and sight where you are in a while. Here is precisely what Bend Racing made up our minds changed into the finest blueprint of action for the length of attempting occasions lost in search of Vuwa Falls. “That is even handed some of the finest reset buttons there might be and no longer sufficient teams know when to spend it. It didn’t work in our desire for the relaxation other than that we received to mentally reset.”

Pause pointed toward the tremendous—and have an even time even minute success

“You must leer your self succeeding. It becomes this driving psychological image and also you don’t even favor to know the scheme in which it’s going to happen but you’ve got got this overall image of success. We dwelling these minute minute objectives so as that now we have successes, and we’re very cognizant of doing that in our flee when we don’t undoubtedly know if we are in a position to withhold going.

When Dan had heat exhaustion we were dragging him up a mountain for 3 hours that took most teams half an hour. The final ingredient we acknowledged earlier than he went to bed changed into that he succeeded at one thing. The next morning most of the success for Dan changed into if might perchance possibly drink a mouthful of water, that changed into it. Whatever the duty forward is, the final 10 property you potentially did, you succeeded at. And so the following job you are going to moreover.

As soon as you fall out when things fetch exhausting, you are environment neurological patterns. Fortunately our pattern is we are in a position to procure our skill by means of one thing else because that is what has the least bit times occurred. As soon as you’ve got got that as your default you are stunning mighty unstoppable. In consequence of that is the factual expectation, that you just are going to procure a skill to enact every endeavor that you just’ve started.”

Tara Kerzhner

Write your contain memoir

Increasing up, Magness and his brother Andrew had two fixed retail outlets: the surface, and the parable world of Dungeons & Dragons. The sport played at a desk can also seem removed from the realm of scaling mountains, but Magness sees them as complementing one one other and offering creativity in anxious conditions. “The creativeness is a huge instrument. In any memoir myth there are heroes overcoming overwhelming odds. When we flee we survey at it this suggests. Love we’re on a quest and becoming our contain myth. The total things that creep execrable change into section of our myth and no longer a blame or a alarm. When we survive one thing I let this stuff change into better than lifestyles in my strategies, because that’s relaxing. Those are the moments it’s essential designate on your soul as a human.” says Magness. “It’s empowering. You fetch to resolve your contain myth. It is most likely you’ll perchance possibly possibly creep over a mountain or around a mountain, but in spite of the final consequence you withhold transferring forward.”

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