Flipping The Switch

By June 9, 2017Thoughts

I just found this piece of writing today (June 9, 2017) as I was updating this website. The date on this unpublished draft was April 30, 2015 which was about one month after my first ever attempt at the Barkley Marathons and half way through what I dubbed the “Slam of the Damned” consisting of four of the toughest hundred mile races in the world in one year (HURT 100, Barkley, Hardrock & UTMB).

Funny how things circle back around. The ebbs and flows of life.

The peaks and valleys of our existence don’t happen just in a foot race, they happen day to day or season to season in our lives.

I recently re-flipped the switch a few weeks back to the ON position… for now anyways. It’ll be fun to see where this current upswing carries me.

Cheers and I hope you enjoy no matter where you are in the process.


Each moment brings forth an opportunity. A choice. Each moment we can choose how we will spend our time. We can take action or wait in a moment of inaction. We can be swept along where life takes us or choose to purposefully steer our ship to reach for our dreams.

These moments of action or inaction shape our lives moment by moment, hour by hour, day by day. I often get swept up in life and wonder where is this ship heading? Who is steering and how long have I been napping?

I had a fortunate conversation with a friend that got me thinking. Thinking about flipping switches. In fact, the last time I spoke with this friend on the phone, I flipped a major switch in my Barkley training build up that I felt had been holding me back. At the time, I was just one month out from the race and a full on caffeine addict. I knew for some time I was in need of “quitting” and in a singular moment during our conversation I did it. I flipped that switch and went off caffeine cold turkey. It was the easiest thing I’d ever done. I had no cravings or desire for something that just a moment before had controlled my daily existence. Pretty powerful stuff.

I again find myself in a daily struggle.

A struggle to find that deep burning passion to reach for my dreams. Yes I’ve gone through the motions of building a “most epic race calendar” and crafting the perfect season of races designed to inspire and impress. I’ve signed up for the lotteries, been selected, hired a coach and booked travel arrangements. But something has been missing.

That fire.

That absolute commitment to making the dream become a reality.

That thing you can’t quite put your finger on. The intangible, immeasurable power from within that compels one to get up early, to push harder, to run faster, stay later and put in the work needed to rise above. The total dedication to giving your personal best.

I’ve set forth on my most ambitious year of ultra running yet, seeking to finish some of the world’s most iconic and difficult 100 mile races. I’m super stoked to be taking on this challenge, but I’m far from where I’d hope to have been at this point. Without clear action I risk going into both Hardrock & UTMB unprepared, setting myself up for disappointing runs.

I’ve hit the realization that it’s time to flip the switch once again. It’s time to reignite the flame. The mountains won’t care whether or not I’ve done the work, they will be there regardless. The races will start on time and after their designated duration will come to a close whether I’m physically ready or not. The competition won’t care about the excuses or the training days I’ve missed but I will.

Consider the switch flipped.

Jamil Coury

Author Jamil Coury

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