Q: What was the hardest part of course logistics for you?
Lael: Actually, my biggest barrier for all of this stuff is navigation. I’m a terrible navigator.
Nick: Well, not any more.
L: No, not any more. That was the biggest thing. I would get lost and couldn’t find my way. Then I started using GPS and it changed my life! I was like: I’m never going to be lost with this! This is going to show me where I am. I just have to find my track and I’m fine. Everybody has something that holds them back, or that they’re scared of. You’re just going to have to get out there and deal with it.
Hearing this from Lael, who has accomplished so much, proves that we all have our speed bumps. What’s important is how we overcome them, not that we have them in the first place.
Q: Lael, you have a unique outlook on racing. Can you elaborate on that?
L: A lot of people think that they’re not competitive and they think that the purpose is to go out there and suffer. That’s really a sick thing to do, when you think about it. You’re not doing well and you’re forcing yourself to suffer, which means you’re going to end up hurting yourself. The point is that it’s a race. Somebody is going out to try and win. It’s not this weird nihilistic experience. You can enter to challenge yourself, absolutely, but when I hear people say that the point is to go out there and suffer, it just makes me sad. We live in such a great world and you’re spending your free time planning to do something that’s self-damaging. It shouldn’t be about this negative seeking pain. It’s about being competitive, about challenging yourself, about riding to the occasion. It’s a positive thing. This self-harming business is, eh, there’s nothing positive there. The Divide is just such a huge undertaking and inspiring. You wake up in a ditch and you feel like someone knocked you in the knees with a baseball bat and you have to get up and go do it again, over ANOTHER 9 days. You get over it, but you have to get up morning after morning and you’re like ‘What am I doing out here?’ If you’re approaching it with the mindset of suffering, there’s no way to succeed and do well. There’s has to be something rewarding about the ride than just at the end I’m going to have this result and it says that I finished in 2 weeks.