One person with a belief is equal to a force of
ninety-nine who have only interests.
John Stuart Mill
Every year, and during only the best of conditions (I laugh at that statement as I sit here shivering the next morning in my kitchen) I volunteer to take photos for my friend Derrick Spafford during his Dion Red Barn Snowshoe Race.
I love doing this for many reasons. I, an amateur snowshoe enthusiast and amateur photographer, understand the feeling of traipsing through the wilderness in the cold. I know this can and probably will give you a rush like no other. If you are able to capture some of that beauty with your camera it is like the icing on a cake.
The view is always amazing, and there is no other way that I have found in the dead of winter, that gives me that up close and personal feeling with Mother Nature’s wintery beauty. That being said I am pretty sure that the majority of the snowshoe racers in this particular race were too busy competing to notice what they were flying by.
I also do this because I believe I have something to contribute even with my limited skills. Believing in you, even with your own lingering doubts provides something truly empowering once you conquer that fear of failure. A person that believes they can do something, and then gives it everything they have, will never be known as a failure, regardless of the outcome.
I did have conversations with a few of racers, who while still competing could not help but to stop, or at least slow down, to notice the beauty surrounding them while deep in the bush. Its indescribable beauty had the power to make them pause and take it all in, before once again going full out to that finish line. Nature has always had that ability to push you to your limit, but also bring you to a dead stop. The power that nature has on us is a wonderful thing don’t you think?
I had set a lawn chair up in the center of the deep snow. With a great view of the starting line plus the spot had the added bonus of sheltering me from that cold biting wind, while huddled under an old cherry tree, I pulled out my camera and waited. This is the part of the race that has always been my favourite.
The determined faces of those racers bolting at full speed, never knowing what they will be facing ahead, and their trusting that they can and will conquer, regardless. Each and every face I photograph, shows a belief in the goal that they had set for themselves. Some racers knew they were going to cross the finish line in record time and win the race once again. Others knew they were going to finish and that was to be their only goal. Some may find it a bit difficult and have to turn back, but that is OK as they did the best they could for that day. I must point out that this is a very physically demanding race. I admire every person that believes in themselves that much too even tackle such a challenge.
Believing in oneself in life has to be one of the most difficult for many of us. I watched as young, and not so young racers tackled that race with their own limitations and ailments, to prove that as long as they continue to believe in themselves, there is nothing they can not face, nor conquer.
Sounds pretty simple at least to me. The best thing anyone can do for themselves would be to believe in you…….. Don’t you agree?
If you want to check out what Snowshoe racing really means CLICK HERE……… The photos and video will not disappoint. After watching, you may believe you can do this someday too. Believe and never stop.
My photos are in Gallery # 2.