WHY I AM - LIFE'S A JOURNEY NOT A DESTINATION
A BIT ABOUT ME
My name is Joe & I’m a 30-year-old proud Kiwi (New Zealander), currently living in Sydney, Australia. Growing up in New Zealand meant I was privileged to be surrounded by nature, which helped instil inspiration to go on adventures and explore the world.
A scientist by training, I combine my day job (research scientist) with my passion for the outdoors and sustainability. My studies, and subsequent career choices, have been in the field of renewable energy/resources, and how innovation can help solve economic, social, and environmental challenges.
I have a keen interest in nutrition and cooking – often being described as a ‘foodie’. I also have a self-confessed addiction to running, especially on trails and mountains. To me, running (and life) is about going on adventures, facing challenges, and making memories; all more fun when shared with others.
AN ADVENTURE I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO IN 2020 - RUNNING MOUNTAINS IN THE CLOUDS
In general, I am excited to strap on some shoes and go explore. However, there is one adventure planned that I am particularly excited for this year. The Leadville 100 Mile Run – and ultramarathon in Leadville, Colorado, USA.
I learned about the Leadville 100 Mile Run 15 years ago and ever since I have been inspired by the underlying ethos of the town and the Leadville Race Series community. It is a bucket-list of mine to toe the start line at this event.
In 2019, I ran the Silver Rush 50-mile run, which provided an insight into what it is like to run "across the sky" - Leadville, Colorado, is at altitude (10,000 ft/3,000m above sea level). The Silver Rush Race summits 12,000 ft (3600 m) four times. Taking a wrong turn inside 10 km to go tested my headspace and forced me really dig deep, to focus, and relax. A firsthand lesson on how the mind is everything.
JOE AT SILVER RUSH 50-MILE RUN, LEADVILLE, COLORADO, USA
Although it is a bit cliché to say the highlight was the finish line; in this instance I really mean it. As I crossed the finish line at Silver Rush I was awarded a ‘Gold Coin Qualifier’ for the Leadville 100 Mile Run in 2020! This confirmed my spot in the 2020 edition of the big dance – no lottery game required!
Does this excite me? Yes!
Does this scare me? Absolutely!
I have never run a 100-miles. Regardless of what Karl Meltzer says, it is a long way!
Moreover, being on my bucket-list adds some added personal meaning. I’ve known about The Leadville 100 Run for so long, and now I want to know what it takes to finish The Leadville 100 Run.
LIFE ISN'T ALWAYS A 'BOX OF FLUFFY DUCKS' - FINDING INSPIRATION WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH
Everyone experiences ups and downs in life. It is a journey and an adventure of its own. I wasn’t always someone running up mountains…
I grew up playing sports (cricket, basketball, and squash), and was running casually most of this time, mainly as a form of fitness to complement the other sports. However, my life changed in 2012 when I went from being reasonably fit and healthy and into a hospital bed. This marked the start of a 3-year journey in and out of hospital while doctors worked on solving a bit of a medical mystery. At times I was unable to walk to the letterbox – let alone play sport, go for a run, or go out with friends.
Through this time that I relied heavily upon inspiration from others to keep my fight. To stay positive. These people weren’t necessarily superstars, elite athletes, or celebrities. Some of the most powerful inspiration I got was from the ‘everyday person’ achieving a goal they had set themselves, or people using adventure as a way of testing their limits.
After regaining my health, I had a new outlook on the world. Moreover, I had a deep and sincere appreciation for health. I felt compelled, and impassioned, to not take any day I have my health for granted; for health is a precious thing that some people, unfortunately, do not have the privilege of keeping.
This life experience put a burning desire in me to appreciate each day and enjoy the little things.
RUNNING - IT'S ABOUT EXPLORATION ALONGSIDE LIKE-MINDED PEOPLE, AS WELL AS FINDING OUT WHAT YOU'RE CAPABLE OF, AND SHATTERING IT
I had always enjoyed running, it kept me fit and feeling healthy. With my health returned, and new found attitude towards the world, I remember deciding to tag along with some friends for a run – hindsight reveals I should have asked how long they were planning before setting out, sink or swim they say!
It was in those first few runs that it became clear I found joy in running – the pure simplicity of it, the sense of freedom it gave me, and the positive buzz I got from being able to go places under the power of my own two feet.
I soon found myself joining a running group, meeting new people from all walks of life, and I loved this newfound ‘community’ of runners. Running soon morphed from a ‘hobby’ and into a way of seeing nature, exploring new areas, and providing a means to push myself. Letting go of what I think I can do and testing new limits.
JOINING AS AN EVOSSI AMBASSADOR - A GLOBAL COMMUNITY OF SHARED SUPPORT AND INSPIRATION TO GO OUT AND EXPLORE - SHARING OF THE SAME SENTIMENTS
I came across EVOSSI by chance through social media. I appreciate innovation and this company appeared to be doing some good thing, plus the gear looked cool.
True to my science mind, I did research into EVOSSI, the people behind it, and what EVOSSI stands for. I quickly uncovered the shared ethos of seeking adventure, pushing yourself to new limits, and inspiring others to become the best version of themselves possible.
What inspires me, may not inspire others. Inspiring and motivating people is about creating an environment in which people can grow, and in which people can bring out the best in themselves.
Being an EVOSSI Ambassador provides an opportunity to help support foster a globally supportive community with this shared sentiment. A community founded on solidarity of supporting each other on the challenges that lay before each of us.
What I like about the EVOSSI community is it isn’t about times, records, or egos – it is more about just getting out there and getting after it! Supporting people achieve their own personal goals, test themselves, and motivation to go on adventures and explore the world!
After all, at the start of any race or adventure we are all there to climb the same mountain and get to the same finish line! I look forward to going on adventures with all the like-minded people of the EVOSSI community!
FOLLOW JOE ON INSTAGRAM HERE