Chad Lubinski, Ultramarathoner & Endurance Athlete Joins The Herd Has Spoken

Chad Lubinski -- Ultramarathoner & “Mediocre” Endurance Athlete

The ultimate gratitude reset is a long hike in the mountains. Chad & Brad talk about Chad’s long hikes on the Colorado Trail, John Muir Trail, and Pacific Crest Trail -- and more importantly what he’s learned as part of the journey. Spoiler alert: Body Glide, adapting and finding a way to overcome challenges, and the importance of mentorship are high on the list. Chad and Brad dive deep into an injury in Jiu Jitsu that turned into a catalyst for trail running & a new mantra for Chad: The Obstacle is the Way.

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Enjoy the conversation between Chad and Brad

Brad
Chad Lubinski, welcome to The Herd Has Spoken. Yes, thank you so much for having me. I really appreciate it. It's an honor to be out here. Well, I gues

Brad
I like you thinking out there in terms of the outdoors that doesn't. So that doesn't surprise me and we'll get into we'll get into all your outdoor adventures but I want to start by understanding how does it cheese in Oregon compared to cheese in Wisconsin?

Chad
Oh, gosh. So I will say this. Okay. So, you know, cheese curds in Wisconsin are like a super big thing. Right? And because you guys are based in Michigan, right?

Brad
We are. Yes.

Chad
Yeah. So like you kind of notice stuff, right? So cheese curds are way better in Wisconsin, but I will say there is a tilam of cheese factory out on the coast in Oregon that I I'm not gonna lie. It kind of rivals some of the Wisconsin cheeses. I don't think they got the whole smorgasbord, you know, but it definitely comes pretty close. It's like some high quality cheese but stuff. But you know, Wisconsin always has my heart.

Brad
I love it. I love it. So you grew up in Wisconsin, found yourself out to the Pacific Northwest. And now you're doing all sorts of crazy. It ventures so we'll certainly get into your story a little bit and how you got out to the to the Pacific Northwest, but would love to hear just for those people who are listening who may not be familiar with it. What is an ultramarathon?

Chad
Yes, so an ultra marathon is technically considered anything after a marathon so was 26.2 miles, right? So basically, it's It can range from a 50k, which is about 31.1 miles. That's usually like kind of a starting point for an ultra. And then it goes up to a 50 miler a 100k. Which I think is like 60, high 60s. And then usually the most popular ones are like the 100 mile or so that's like what everybody kind of strip at least that's what I'm striving to get to I think they even go past that. There's like a Bigfoot 200 up at Rainier, which is nuts. But yeah, but for me, I think, you know, for the ultra seen, I want to get up to that 100 mile race for sure. And I think that's even kind of when I would consider myself really an ultra marathoner. I think that's like the kind of the gold standard for me, I think. Yeah.

Brad
Okay. Okay. So maybe maybe you've already sort of unpacked this. I know, you are a self described, mediocre endurance athlete, but I think I could say Oh, yeah, yeah, you have run ultra marathon. So what what do you what would you consider to be a strong endurance athlete? Because to me, like, wow, like, I feel I feel like you're already there. But obviously, the bar is is really high in your world.

Chad
Yeah, you know, I think it happens too, because I was actually just listening to this podcast where this guy has run like all these 100 mile ultra marathons, you know, and like, several like 100 a year and like with like a 630 pace, and I'm just like, wow, like so when I say about myself compared to that I'm like, Oh my gosh, you know, like, this just seems so crazy. But yeah, for so for me. You know, I think once I like said, once I get to that 100 miles, that's when you actually get like a little belt buckle with it and all this kind of cool rad stuff. I think that's where I really consider myself as an endurance athlete. I guess, whenever I conquer something, I kind of just keep putting the bar a little bit further a little bit further. And it because I, I just, I guess I kind of create a kind of a longer takeoff pad, if you will, you know. And so I keep kind of just reaching and striving and knowing that I can do better So, so yeah, yeah, I guess that's a long answer. But yeah, I don't know.

Brad
So if I told you the Big Foot 200 was was in your future, would that surprise you at all, knowing that you always want to go like one step further? You

Chad
know, possibly, I don't know if I want to go past the 100. To 100 to me is like, okay, that's like, Okay, I'm pretty, I'm pretty good with that. Like, if I do 100 that, that sounds pretty cool. I think from there, I would probably transition to finding something a little bit a little bit different, maybe like a bike across America sort of thing or something like that. Like, it's a little bit of an endurance, because that's a lot of running. Yeah, it's, it's like, you know, I, when I was training for my 50, had to, there was a couple training runs where I actually had to run like a trail marathon, right, you know, so I've run these marathons or whatever. And then I was kind of an idiot, because I get home and I realized I only ran 26.1. So I had to do the net. The other point. Yeah, like, in my crotch, and I'm, like, laying down and I'm just like, kind of dead. I'm like, Oh, my God, I didn't run the other point one. So I like got out, got my watch, ran or did the point one of my Crocs, you know, my neighbors are like, what is going on just going back and forth down the street and stuff. And, but you know, it's a lot of running, it's a lot of it's a lot of committed, it's not, you know, there's been people that, you know, can do it without no training, but they're severely like, injured afterwards, you know, for weeks and weeks on end. But for me, I like to really prepare, and it takes a lot of time, it takes a lot of time.

Brad
That is one of the hardest parts about any sort of endurance or just long, again, I'm thinking of an Iron Man, or something of the equivalent just takes a lot of time to train, which doesn't always gel well with having a having a full time job, frankly.

Chad
Yes, exactly. And that's actually I'm glad you brought up the Iron Man, because that is something I would be interested in after the 100. So yeah, we'll see. I think, I will say this, I don't think that I particularly like skillful in anything. Really, I think that I just can, like, deal with sucking stuff for sucky situations for a longer period of time more than most people. And that's kind of like a muscle, right? Like, the more you do it, right. Definitely the easier it kind of becomes and the more you actually weirdly like crave of it. So it's just weird. I think I've always been like that when I was even like a little kid, I would like my, my dad would throw me the football or whatever. And I was like, hey, do it, like, do it more challenging, I want more challenging, right, or something like that. Or I remember, we have like, we had like 40 acres back home in Wisconsin. And you know, I was a little kid. So I didn't know what the hell I was doing. But like, I just wanted to, like, chop down this tree. You know, I was like, I was like, I was like 12 or 14 years old. And I was like, and it took me I just remember it, like took me forever to do this. But I was like, just having so much fun. I don't know what it's a weird, weird kind of thing, I think.

Brad
Yes. So I'm curious to what extent this desire to like train, and do one step beyond what you've already done? How does that how is that reflected in your personality? So I would guess, right, and I'm curious if this is correct, or way off base here, that you might be more of a perfectionist, right in that like, Hey, I ran the 26 miles, but I didn't run the 26.2 or I ran 26.1 and missing 0.1 like I gotta go finish that. So how does like your training fit with your personality?

Chad
Yeah, I'm very type A, like I'm very, I'm very, I'm very disciplined, like, just with, I guess everything, everything that I do, like every morning looks the same for me. You know, like wake up water with salt with lemon with do my mobility, you know, and intermittent fast, you know, everything is like the same, right? And so when it comes to training, it's easy to take that because it's already in my daily life and it's easy to take it into training and still train when I don't feel like training, or like I have have to cram it in somewhere. And so I make sacrifices, which, to me is worth it. But I've always I've been doing that for years. So it's kind of like yours. Again, that's kind of like a muscle too. And so, yeah, I definitely have a perfection attitude, which I've kind of, you know, can be a bad thing too, at some points, right? Like, you kind of got a, there's a kind of got to be a balance there too, because you don't want to, you don't want to burn yourself out, when you're training for 100 mile marathon or ultra marathon because it's a lot of training, and you get sick of it month one out of the six month training plan. You know, as that can be tough, so I try to balance that a little bit more. And I try to, and that's something that thru hiking is actually helped me with is being so type A, on an itinerary, right? Because I don't want to get fired from work, when I'm working. I gotta get this done by, you know, so I can fly home and like, get back to work. And so I have like this tight itinerary. And when I don't make that, which often occurs, because so many variables come up with through hiking, right? You can, you can try to account for it maybe never account for all. And so that's kind of helped me pull back that type a little bit and learn to adapt a little bit more and take things as it is.

Brad
Yeah, I always say that our biggest strength is often our biggest weakness, right? Where our weaknesses, our strengths gone too far. And that that's fast. Yeah, you've kind of been able to, to channel some of that in the outdoors and be able to learn a little bit about your yourself, do you? How do you feel like you've been able to change and evolve off trail based upon some of those learnings in terms of what you've done? on the trail?

Chad
Oh, yeah, that's a great question. Really good question. The trail is, like a gratitude reset number one. When you are, you know, you don't like you don't shower for 11 days, you don't have, you know, good food. So you're not you're not eating that healthy. It's all processed shit that I, I never eat in real life, you know. And, you know, you have to filter your water every day, you're sleeping in a tent, you're sleeping on the ground, you know, stuff like that. And so when you get home, actually, it's super interesting, because one of the bigger lessons that I learned is, is to really just be grateful for what I have. It's so nice. Yes, I ervice. Again, you're like, Oh, my God, I can be on Instagram. You know, you don't have to conserve your battery anymore. It's like, it's mind blowing. And so for like the first few weeks after trail, I really am in this real good. Gratitude mindset. I wish I could say that, that lasts forever. But it doesn't, please for me, you know, every time I go out, it does. Again, it's kind of like a muscle where you kind of build on it, but it doesn't last really forever, as intense as it was when I got home, obviously. But I really think for anybody that's really interested in like, you know, backpacking through hiking or anything like that, and is interested in having more gratitude in their life. That is a great as a speed highway to get there real fast, you know? And, yeah, and as far as, like, the adaptability, like, like, I was kind of saying, it's just helped me to really just learn how to adapt, adapt and overcome, and that's something that you have to do in ultramarathons too, is, is, it's really comes down to both through hiking and ultras is like, how well can you adapt? Because, again, so many variables come up, you can try to account for most of them, but you know, that there's going to be some that you're not accounting for, like, in the Colorado trail this year, I got poison sumach all over my legs, like the second day, right? So I knew there was going to be some lows on trail, but I didn't know that I was going to be it's in my face off, and my legs off every day, you know, before I go to sleep and, you know, adding that on to the mileage I was trying to do every day. It was tough. So, but you got to just adapt to it, man. It's just it's a kind of a defining moment, you know, whether whether or not you can.

Brad
Yeah, it's it's that adversity, you know, you're going to you're going to meet that adversity and the ultimate test, as I believe in, in humans are, as you know, as as workers, certainly, you know, it sounds like as a backpacker, or, you know, an endurance athlete. It's how are you going to respond? Yes, the adversity is going to get a hit. And it's, it's up to you to try to figure that out. So no, I love that thinking. I'm curious. You're talking a little bit about, you know, folks, folks who might be might be listening here. I'd love to hear what advice would you give with someone who's into the outdoors and being active, but might be a little intimidated with the idea of, you know, 30 days on the Colorado trail or on Any trail or idea of running a marathon Plus, you know, on a trail So, like, what what advice would you give to someone when they're like, I'm into it, but man, that's that sounds really intimidating Chad.

Chad
Yeah, for me, for me, I'm all about graduated practice. So I, I never started, like the hardest thing ever, you know, like, I started running the five K's like, several years ago, and, you know, 10 I literally, it was literally like a ladder 5k 10k you know, half, and then I skipped the actual official marathon and then just went to a 50k. But it's really for me, it's about graduating practice. I think same with hiking, people will ask me like, you know, how do you hike solo all the time? Like, aren't you scared? Like overnight and like hell yeah. Like I used to be super scared staying overnight by myself, you know, but, you know, I started by camping next to my car one time at a campground just by myself. Once you wake up from that, and you don't go home, you feel just you feel like you could take on the world. It's just a such a great feeling, because you got over some of those demons that are trying to get you to go back home now. And then, yeah, I think it's just, it's just get started. And if you can find a mentor, because that is going to accelerate your learning tenfold. And a lot of times with hiking and ultra running, you're going to be on similar trails, like both things are on similar trails, right? Like, you can run a trail you can hike a trail, but I've met so many people just hiking, just backpacking and just trail running that have the same that kind of like minded mind. And a lot of times they have a different skill set than I do and something or they have more experience. And so just hang on with them is is priceless, I think in my mind.

Brad
Yeah. Love it. And I want to come back to this, this idea of mentorship. And I think that's that's so important for for so many of us. But what I want to maybe turn turn back the clock a little bit here, right? So obviously, you're you're now in Oregon, doing what I think most people would say like pretty, pretty extreme, pretty adventurous, aggressive things outdoors, which I personally love. But I want to go back so you grew up in, in Wisconsin, and and you found your found your way out to the Pacific Northwest. So what what was that journey? Like? And how did you start to get into things? A little bit, particularly on the on the trail?

Chad
Yeah, that's a good question. So yeah, obviously, you know, we took some snowboarding trips out west when I was in college. Basically, I fell in love with the West at that point. After college I graduated moved out here with a now with a ex girlfriends, but you know, it wasn't going for at the time, whatever. didn't work out anyway. And so, yeah, I my big thing back then was I wanted to do backpack hunting. I would watch pre most and you know, all this stuff, right? And I was like, Oh my gosh, like, this is so cool. But I didn't know anything. Anything about trail systems. Like when I first got to Oregon, I was bombed out to the back country and I wouldn't even hike on like I don't even know really trails kind of I don't know what I was thinking there was no all trails. There was no apps like there was no onyx maps. There's nothing like that. 

Brad
Just drive to the mountains and start walking. Right?

Chad
Yeah, that's exactly what I do. And I was like, yeah, this is pretty tough. You're like, wow, this is I don't know how people are doing this, you know, how are people? And so yeah, like that kind of transitioned into. I was more of a in a hunting phase. At that point. I wasn't so much into the backpacking. And then kind of in 2016, I actually started jujitsu and when I started jujitsu I did that that was kind of another Launchpad that kind of for one reason or another once I started that I cleaned up my life a lot.

Brad
Can I interrupt you for a second? What why what what why was it that you started jujitsu in the first place? Like what what was that like the very first day you went on a mat? Because my understanding is it's you kind of get your ass kicked for for a while. until you start you start getting to be be decent. And it's it's tough to get started in jujitsu.

Chad
You so dude here so there's actually there was a meme that when I was first starting training is like the first six months of the guests. He was like, and it was like this guy with his head in the pool like, from the top or whatever, you know, cuz you're like drowning. You're like seriously drowning in people because you don't know anything. And you're just getting just worked right? And so what actually happened was, I was I went out to Eastern Oregon, long ass drive. I had a miserable time I went home early. I was, I was very, when I was younger, I would always plan on doing like a five day thing. I'd always leave on that day too, because I get lonely or whatever. I just I didn't have that mental muscle at that point. And so I'm driving home. And I was talking to a buddy from Wisconsin, he was talking about how he rode his bike from I think Madison to the border of Wisconsin or some I don't know, some kind of crazy stuff. That's pretty cool. You know? And I was like, hunting really isn't working out for me right now. What if What is something that I can do that would make me proud of myself? You know, there's a judo jujitsu dojo down the street. I was like, there's no excuse why I can't do this. I've always wanted to do it. Yeah, so I go in there, you know, and got work. I mean, I still get worked, right? Well, I got worked for Yeah, a good six months to a year. And you have to be someone that enjoys in a weird way getting just beat. I don't know, like what else to say, because, but you got I always thought like, you know, I'm, at least I'm getting more training than the people that are training. You know, I mean, at least I know what what's the, you know, at least I know how I'm going to respond. And so from then on, I just yeah, I fell in love with Jiu Jitsu. I still do it to this day. I'm trying to get my purple belt, which hopefully will come this year, I hope. But yeah, so. But the weird thing about jujitsu is that I started doing jujitsu for like, 2016. I did it for that summer, and I was doing so much jujitsu. I didn't do any backpacking, or anything, anything outside for a whole summer. And so winter came and I was like, Wow, I didn't do anything with my summer. Right. So that next year, I started planning more stuff, I started getting more into backpacking and stuff. And that was a big, big thing for me too, is I started prioritizing my summers. And so like months, before summer would come, I would block out weekends, I would block out weeks, and I would I would write down this is I'm in a backpack here, I'm gonna do this, I'm gonna do that. And just that simple act of blocking stuff out writing it down. I would add here to that, even when people would try to invite me somewhere else. And again, it just kind of creates that launch pad for doing bigger stuff, more extreme stuff. And so yeah, it's kind of weird how that works. But yeah, that's what I do to this day.

Brad
So no, there's so much power in that, which is just being purposeful and thoughtful for where you spend your time. I mean, it's pretty amazing. Just the act of saying, Okay, I'm disappointed with how things went last summer, in terms of me being outside in nature, which is obviously something that's super important to you. So I'm gonna put on my calendar, and I'm gonna honor that, you know, that, I'm going to honor myself in that need for that time. And then I'm just going to go after it and do it. And I think too many of us wind up getting caught in this. Sometimes it's, it's day to day, hour to hour, you know, week to week, month, month, whatever it is, we're, we're just like, letting life happen to us, as opposed to what is it I'm going to do? I mean, I know I've, you know, caught myself, I'm not proud of this, but you catch yourself suddenly, like watching garbage on TV. And then 10 minutes, you're like, what am I What am I doing? Like, I don't want to watch this. I am not interested in this at all. I shut it off and, and keep going. But, you know, in a macro sense of life, I mean, you're doing this obviously was was a pretty big deal in terms of inspiring yourself motivating yourself, like finding that finding that self definition in terms of who you are. And that's that's really, really powerful. Yes, yep. So no, great points. Yep. Yeah, my understanding those so when you're rolling through in jujitsu, you actually had a bicep injury. And that's something that sparked your interest and then getting more into ultramarathon. So how did that happen?

Chad
Well, yeah, it was a great story, too. So yeah, dude, I'm so you know, we're COVID rolling at the time. So we're training underground and people's baseball. We're actually in the hayloft at this point. This is pretty, you know, Midwest stuff. We're in a halo. And, you know, we're, we have maps, but at the end of the round, I wasn't rolling that well. I was overtraining because I was going through a breakup, I was real. So I was using that as a lot of fuel. Just really just grinding to the bone, right. And so I'm in this role, this purple belt and tapped me out a little bit earlier, I was really not satisfied with my performance. We get to the end of the round, we have about five seconds left, he throws up a triangle. The triangle was loose, and so I'm trying to posture out of it. In the process. He pulled my arm down and with two seconds left on The board extent I thought I could pull it out and it just went up pop. And then the bell goes off. And this is all on video too. And I just I immediately knew like I like I immediately knew screwed up. And yeah, I tore the bicep, basically from where it attaches down to your elbow. I had to wait three weeks for surgery, because I was actually Incidentally, I always seem to get significantly hurt before I fly home to Wisconsin, which injured my knee in jujitsu same thing like three years ago. And so I fly home, I fly back, I get the surgery. And at this point, I'm going to swing can't do jujitsu. And I'm like, well screw it. I have my trail legs, which is just a term for, you know, fit legs from, from the JMP, the john Muir Trail that I did a couple months prior, I still have those. I've been running a little bit. There's a 50k in about a month and a half 31 miles. And I was like I called some of the people that have done these types of things before I said, Do you think I can do this? You know, get some feedback. They said hell yeah, you know, start, just do what you can. So I did what I could actually get some videos and we just run it in a sling, which I actually kind of think was cheating because it's actually taking some of the slack out of your arm. But yeah, so I basically I trail ran all November, being really careful not to slip and fall my arm. And you know, didn't tell my doctor about this at all. And so yeah, I basically I tried to put a good thing or a bad thing was right. Like, I I have this book that I always read when I'm going through, it seems like any type of injury or something. It's called the obstacles the way by Ryan Holiday, good start book and one of the things in there was like, you know, never waste a good crisis. And so I was like, Okay, well, how can I make? How can I make this good? You know, and so yeah, so in December, early December, practice, run like 50k and completed it cramped up a lot, learned a lot though. running it. And yeah, it was awesome. It was really cool. It was actually the same 50 pe that Cameron Haynes and David Goggins ran the year prior. It's actually where cam lives. So I don't know if you know them.

Brad
But yeah, so that's, that's fascinating. What a great, what a great story. So when it when it comes to ultramarathon? I got a really hard hitting question here, here for you. And that's something that anyone who's ran distance is listening. It's got to be running through their mind. And that is simple. How do you manage the chasing Chad?

Chad
Such a good question, dude. Well, actually, I don't think I have it in one of these boxes right here. But body glide. It's this stuff you can get off of Amazon body glide, you got it. Just got a lube up. I always had I always chase between my thighs. That's, that's always what I take is between the thighs. I really don't shave anywhere else. And if I don't do that, for a run that's over about 22 miles or so I always shave. I don't know what it is. But anything below that. I'm good. Beyond that, to the body glide. I love it. It's good stuff. It's a actually the first ever long distance hike I did, which is just like 100 miles was saved by body glide. I didn't think I was gonna complete it because my thighs were chopped up so bad, but put it on the night woke up was perfect. Ready to go. Definitely recommend. Love it.

Brad
You talked about running these these long races. So you ran the 50 miler to me the 50k to start. So when you're actually running an ultra marathon? I mean, what what's your strategy as you're as you're starting the race, and as you continue to go, go go through all 31.1 miles or whatever the case may be? upwards?

Chad
Well, you don't you don't want to, at least for me, because I'm not like one of those elite Elite runners, right? Like I I got to make sure I throttle back. And don't you definitely don't want to start out too hard. I've seen many people that have started out way hard, and they're not in it. But uh, you know, by midway through the race, they'd already be enough because they already burnt themselves out or, you know, some or they got injured or something like that. So you definitely have to, you have to pace yourself. You also have to know that you know, you got to know what you like to eat because when you get to these aid stations, nothing really works. And solid foods are hard to digest. But then you're eating like these gurus all the time that just, you know are like these, like whatever you know, it's you're getting sick. Have those you also got to account for your stomach Miko south, which just simply means like it starts cramping up because like, normal blood isn't going to the digestive system and, and so you want to make sure like, well, one, you want to make sure you know what's at the aid stations before you get out there. So you know what to grab, you want to get in and out of those super fast like, that's probably the biggest thing that I'll kill your time as it is milling around that at age stations. The second thing is if your stomach starts going south, you got to know you got to grab the ginger-ale 100%. it'll, it'll it'll remedy it right up. I don't know why, but it does, it does. So I would say yeah, really pace yourself, especially from the beginning, I would say towards the end, you can let loose a little bit more, start going a little bit faster, because you're probably going to finish and you're kind of you're getting pulled in by that finish line, you know, and then really get in and out of those aid stations as fast as possible. Just don't screw around there. Another thing is too is like, for me, I don't like to sit down. Because if I do I start getting cold, I start kind of cramping up a little bit. Another thing too, is make sure you're taking your salt tabs and electrolytes every at least every 45 minutes to prevent cramping big thing.

Brad
So for for you, how important is the race versus the journey?

Chad
Yeah. You know, it's funny, because when you do this training block, you're okay. So for my 50 miler, I trained from ended middle January all the way to Iran and June 12, ran for like six months right here running for all these months, and then you get to the race. But if you look at the percentage of the hours that you've spent the races only accounts for like 2%, you know, or something like that. Like, I mean, hardly anything. I mean, you're almost 95% done with the entire thing by trying to get to the race, you know, so it's like 5% of the entire thing. And so yeah, the journey for me is, is really just, yeah, obviously more important. It's just really overcoming all those demons to get to that starting line in the first place. And to finish it. The race obviously, is super important too. Because if I don't finish that I kind of feel like maybe I taught something, you know, I kind of ruined or kind of wasted stuff. But I think in the journey, you definitely find out a lot about yourself because it simulates a race and the fact that you're going to have highs and lows and training, you're gonna have highs and lows in your race. How do you get past those? Are you going to use what you learned in your training period in your training blocks to you know, get past those? That's a good skill that I've used. So yeah, I mean, you definitely know if you get to the race, and you haven't trained you can tell that you can see people that have not trained right, or on thru hikes, you can tell people that I've literally just got off the couch, and they started through hiking. And for me, I I want to have the best experience possible. So yeah, I try to try to make it as good as I can in that prep space. And it excites me. I like having that backstage fun.

Brad
Oh, yeah, that's, that's got that's got to be 95% of the fun since it's 95% of the time, right?

Chad
Yes, it is. And like the whole the whole time you have a goal, right? Like you have a goal that you're striving for every day. So like it's easier than if you're just running to maintain something or whatever. It's like, it's nice to have that goal that you're thinking about the whole time. So, yeah.

Brad
So what have you learned throughout this process about about yourself, and how has that maybe evolved, where you see yourself going in the future as well.

Chad
So I would say, with the with the ultramarathon and the and the 50 miler in the 50 miler and the 50 50k that was like, acutely, like the hardest thing I've done in like, one day, right, like 50 miler was definitely the hardest thing I've done today. Yep. I would say as far as hardest thing I've ever done was definitely the Colorado trail and the john Muir Trail. And I think what I learned from those is it's because it's such a durational thing. It's simply the duration. You wake up every you have this large goal 500 miles, and you wake up on day two, and you have 470 left. And you're like, wow. So some things that I've learned just from the jam team, the CTF specifically where you can always do more than you think. There's always going to be a low spot In what you're doing you no matter if it's business, or if it's, you know, training for this or when you're actually in it. But how, again, how you adapt how you respond to that, it's going to be that defining moment, but everybody gets there, like, you are going to have that low spot. And so knowing that really kind of taken that into my life, and no, you know, especially when I get into, you know, just regular work weeks or something like that. I'm like, I always think to myself, well, this isn't as hard as X, Y and Z that I've done, you know, and that's very powerful. Because it really isn't. I know, like, sometimes I'll like look at people to, you know, or jujitsu. And I'll be like, you know, they haven't walked this many miles. I like play that. And that, that gives me a lot of power. And so yeah, some of the I think the biggest lessons I've learned really have came from thru hiking, because you're out there for so freakin long. And you have so much time to think and you have so many things that go wrong all the time every day, you know, with the ultra, it's super hard. And I'm sure when I do this 100 it's going to be that's going to be I can't even imagine, because I can't imagine going 50 more after the first 50 I did. That's crazy. But yeah, so I'm very pumped to see what I learned in that 100 because I think it's gonna be even even more extreme than obviously what I've learned so far.

Brad
One of the things that you mentioned earlier was how important you know, mentorship is and how when you get out in the trail, and you start actually doing things, you're going to meet like minded people, you're going to find people who have different ideas, different approaches, or in your case who just understand that there's hiking trails, as opposed to bushwhacking through the mountains in the forest. But but all seriousness what it has been an important mentor for you along the way and kind of what what have you learned whether whether that was like a small adjustment or a big adjustment?

Chad
Yeah, great question. My first ever longer hike, like so it was like 100 miles on the PCT. I met this guy. He was 68 years old. His trail name is salty dog. And I met him the first day I was kind of like, I'm gonna do this solo. I'm gonna do by myself. You know, I'm man, bla, bla bla, right? This guy comes in rolls into camp. We had a piping the next week together. And I thought I was gonna smoke this guy, right? This guy is pulling 2025 miles like, it's no problem, man. I'm 20 whatever. And I'm like, how is he doing this? Right? I learned so much so much from that week. It was unreal, just how efficient you can be with your pack and and all this other little little stuff. And I honestly don't think I would have gotten through some of those sections. In particularly over the high snow year that year. So a lot of people were turning back from this particular section not going through it. We decided to push through ship, that was the best thing on trail. And I wouldn't have done that without him. And it's his experience. Huge for me. And so we stay in contact to the actual ask him stuff, bounce ideas off of them and stuff like that. So I think honestly, he's been the biggest mentor for me. But outside of that, I really get a lot of inspiration, a lot of tips and stuff off of literally just like YouTube, Instagram, David Goggins, Cam Hage, those guys, super inspirational to me. And I just love following them, because it really does kind of light a fire out here when you don't feel like doing something, you know? For sure, for sure.

Brad
Well, Chad, you've been really generous with your with your time here today. Before you leave just a couple of quick questions for you. So you're, you're obviously a really positive guy. you set your mind to things you find a way to make that happen. I love that. But on the flip side of that, there's gotta be some pet peeves out there. So what is your biggest pet peeve?

Chad
Guys. Okay, so number one, and this happened to me on right after I completed the Colorado trail, get up to the to the sign. You're in Durango super happy, this older gal comes over? Oh, what do you guys do? I know his trail number Durango? Oh, you guys aren't gonna be able to do that. When you're my age. I knew you're gonna have to have knee replacements and this and that. I'm like, now, I think we're going to be good. I think you just need to take care of your body is what I said. Everybody's kind of like looking at me like it's awkward. And I was like, What an odd thing to say to someone that just completed this big thing. She says it again later on in the conversation and again, I addressed it directly to her. And it's just kind of an example of one of my biggest pet peeves is and I don't know Have people like they just nonchalantly do it or if they just kind of like, they don't understand what they're doing. But they will like, tell you, you can't do what you're going to do. Right? And so I hate, especially people that are older than you, and that aren't like fit. Or don't do your lifestyle, right, like, someone that, like I have people in mind that every time I you know, they ask me what I do for the weekend, oh, I did this or this, we're not gonna do it. It's like, well, now I'm 30. And it's like, there's people my age that can't even get out of the truck and into jujitsu practice more or less, you know, do it. And so I really my biggest pet peeve and it just, it fires me up, man, just rage is people telling me that I can't do that. I'm going to do something, I can't do something when I get older, and then they're like, that older person or whatever, but they didn't take care of their bodies in the first place. That's the biggest one. Also, group texts, kind of pissed me off.

Brad
Gotta silence those. Alright, so so obviously salty dog. He didn't participate in those pet peeves. He's a mentor. But what what did salty dog call you? In other words, what is your trail name? Chad.

Chad
So I actually got a trail name on the CT, and it was Scratch. And that's because of my poison.

Brad
Verifying perfect. Yeah, absolutely. Love it. And so what what is the greatest piece of advice you've ever received?

Chad
You know, I actually again, this is another thing. I'm Shi T. I've had my wall is kind of decorated in quotes and stuff. And I actually was kind of looking at it before we talk. But I have to say that I think the best I was actually again, I love talking to just people, older people that are positive. And that I'm where I want to be when I get that age, and there was some older people, I was kind of having a tough day on the CT talking to them. And they were saying, you know, this too shall pass. Right? We're talking about thunderstorms. Like every day, man like Africa is like you just kind of think this too shall pass. Well, a week later, I get caught in a thunderstorm. I'm like literally like on the border of hypothermia. It's like six o'clock pm on Shay. I'm shivering. And I'm and it's just pouring. And I'm just thinking, Okay, like this will pass at some point like this half pass. Right. And so that really fired me up the rest of the seats. I knew things weren't going to be just that bad forever. It gives you hope, which is super important, especially if you're trying to do an endurance activity, I think is is that hope so? Yeah, I think that's the biggest The best thing.

Brad
Yeah, positive energy, hope knowing that the tough times will be a thing of the past and ultimately be a memory. That's, that's really powerful stuff. Yeah. I really appreciate you and I'm sure our listeners really appreciate it. We appreciate you being part of the MuskOx Herd.

If you guys want to you know browse the the MuskOx website or our Instagram, you're sure to find some pictures of Chad doing some random stuff out there. Thanks so much, Chad. We appreciate you joining us here on The Herd Has Spoken.

Chad
Brad, thank you so much. Like I was saying I love the Charleston on the CT. It was my goat is one of my favorite pieces of gear by far. So thank you. Thank you for hooking me up and I appreciate it man.


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