Our Wolfpack comp team enjoyed some inspiring words from Jeremy and Kelly Hurl last week. Their kids Hunter and Cooper have been members of our comp team for the last few years. Hunter is competing at the high school level now and Cooper will join our comp XC team when football season is over. Jeremy is also one of our XC coaches and a distance coach during track season.
Kelly is an ICU nurse and has been for almost 17 years. She knows and understands how important physical movement is for the healing process and for our overall health. Kelly has run every single day, at least 2 miles, for more than 2300 days. That’s almost 7 years! She started with a New Year’s resolution to run every day for one month. That turned into two months, and then six months, and she just kept going. When she was at work, she’d run wherever she could; even if that was laps in the hallways. When the weather is bad or her shifts make it hard to run during the day, she runs on a treadmill. Kelly also runs so she can be a positive influence on her patients.
She went on to explain the power of positive thinking and how she uses it to push herself to keep going and make healthier choices. She has little tools to remind herself to snap of a funk if she’s feeling down or doesn’t want to run. She said they’re kinda corny, but she’ll verbally tell herself “I can do hard things. I believe in myself. I can go a little further.” Sometimes she’ll snap her fingers to give herself a pat on the back when she’s doing great. Kelly recommended to start with small goals and to believe that you can do anything for a short time. Then push your goals higher.
Last year Jeremy spoke to our comp track & field team about positive self-talk. He made a small card for everyone on our team with a positive message and encouraged everyone to keep it in their track bags. Read more about that here.
This time Jeremy talked about his experience with competing in the Wasatch 100 Endurance Race. It’s an ultra that spans the Wasatch Mountains from north to south with more than 20,000 feet in elevation change.
He talked about that point in every race when you hit a wall. It’s when your lungs are burning, you legs feel heavy, your heart hurts, and self-doubt creeps in. In a short race, that feeling can encourage you to run faster to get to the finish faster, right? Well, when you’re running 100 miles in the mountains, you can’t always do that! Jeremy hit that point at mile 50 in his race. It was hot, he was tired, he’d been running for 13 hours straight, and he still had 50 miles to go with more mountains to climb! The distance between aid stations at that point was almost 13 miles in a couple of spots.
When Jeremy hit that point, positive self-talk is what got him to the finish. Keep drinking fluids, keep eating, and Just. Keep. Moving. He repeated to himself over and over, “I can do this. I believe in myself. I’ve worked hard. This is ONLY 50 miles.”
It was about 11pm when he crested a mountain and reached the highest point in the race; over 10,000 feet above sea level. At about 3am he fell into a creek on his back! A little while later he fell into another creek. Then, when he finally could SEE the finish line, Kelly joined him and ran the last 2 miles across the finish line.
“Your body can do so many amazing things, you just have to convince yourself up here.”
As a thank you, Coach Rachel gave both of them this season’s 100 Mile Pack t-shirts. Our athletes earn these when they’ve reached the 100-mile mark in their training. Both Kelly and Jeremy have definitely earned theirs!!
Thank you both for sharing about your accomplishments and giving our team some inspiring words to take home.