You know whats incredible to me? A year ago none of this existed and I only knew a few of you. A year ago I was standing on the outskirts of a road running team feeling like a complete outsider because I had dreams that others didn't seem to quite understand. When I closed my eyes I saw single track winding along a ridgeline, the sun at my back, the crisp taste of nature tickling my nose. I dreamed of dirt underfoot. I felt alone when I closed my eyes.
If theres one thing that I am thankful for on this day, its all of you. The shoutouts in running magazines, and seeing more and more "Trail WhippAss" singlets at races makes me all warm and giddy inside... but I am thankful for all of you. If we never get another mention i'll be ok as long as I still have all of you.
Seeing our members achieve amazing things like win races, run multiple 100 mile races, run 200 mile races, become ranked and make USTF teams makes me feel legitimate... but I am thankful for all of you. I don't give a damn if you come in first or last place or even finish at all. I just care that you have fun, and if nobody I know ever wins another race or sets another record i'll be ok as long as I still have all of you.
We all share things in common. Sure, we love running (obviously), we feel a desire to protect nature, we can't help but smile the dirtier we get, our heart skips a beat and we fall in love with life just a little bit more after cruising over some beautiful single track, and we laugh and pick ourselves up after gnarly wipeouts.... but it goes deeper than that.
The truth is what we are building here is more than just a team. Its a group of friends, a family. We cheer at each others achievements, we believe in each others dreams, we help each other in times of need. Our bonds go beyond that big beautiful dirt playground, and lasts long after we have undone our laces.
Today when I close my eyes I see the same single track winding along a ridgeline, the sun at my back, the crisp taste of nature tickling my nose. But you know what... i'm surrounded by all of you.
We are Trail WhippAsses and that is what I am thankful for today.