I remember when I first met Tim Seaver, the now former NH Peakbagging Speed Record Holder. Driving home from his house the night I interviewed him, I knew I wanted to run Ultras simply because I wanted to BE somebody. I was incredibly unsatisfied with, and terrified of the notion, of leaving this world as a nobody. I'm sure a lot of that has to do with depression, and things I had been through in my past.. etc etc etc. So when someone asked me for an autograph.. I felt like I was there but not quite.. getting "closer."
In the months that would follow, I became even more vocal in the New England hiking scene. Sharing my thoughts and opinions around every turn.. let's face it.. that's who I am. Opinionated, Honest, Unfiltered. But with that came the unnecessary burden I carried of the same in return from those who shared a different opinion of my own. The community I was a part of soon would become polarized.. either you liked me, or you didn't. I realize now all these years later.. how much of an awful feeling that was.. and still is. I don't want the same thing to happen here in Colorado.
Over the decade that I've been blogging.. I have been through a lot and all of it.. completely unnecessary but I cannot honestly say unwarranted. I have had websites created about me (sherpajohnisadouche.com), I've had people dress up like me on hikes and runs to mock me in their own blog posts and youtube videos, I've had mockumentary videos made about me on YouTube, I've had people steal my identity and make fake accounts online, fake profiles.. I've received countless pieces of hate mail through electronic means. To this day.. people still anonymously post negative comments/thoughts about me in the comments sections of blogs and websites.. where the post they're commenting on has absolutely nothing to do with me.
The evolution of this site over the years has seen a shift in my intention as well. Again, in the beginning it was more about hiking and race reports. Then.. I started sharing my opinions. I fully understand that my thoughts and opinions have not always been with the grain, or in line with what most people believe or think. So with that sharing, comes a whole wave of negativity that while I never intended to receive, I rightfully did so mostly due to my attitude. However, at the same time, I've always enjoyed offering that different perspective. I've enjoyed making people think, question their own beliefs, change their views, or just engage them in the way that made them curious to understand..
I never asked for the negativity and the naive side of myself never expected it. Over the years it has become more and more tiresome to try and convey my thoughts and messages while still dealing with the ramifications of doing so. All of the things I've endured for the last decade.. continue to happen and the only way I can think of bringing it to an end for my own sanity and the sanity of my family.. is to pull the plug. There are other reasons as well...
Let's be honest... I've more than said my piece. I've said my piece about Lotteries in Ultra Running, I've said my piece about Leadville, my piece about Prize Money, my piece about the elites, my piece about the increase in the number of runners, the loss of old school, races that aren't "cutting it," race directors who I personally think aren't cut out for this, or whose actions affect others but in the end.. none of these issues are things that I need to worry about. None of these things are my battle.. yet.. I made it so. I fully and wholeheartedly accept the ramifications for the past.. but from this point on.. I am telling you that.. I refuse to let it be my future. I'll continue to let what I've built in HPRS to speak for me.. without my words.. just with my actions.
I am who I am. I will likely always be opinionated, and honest, and unfiltered. But I realize that it needs to be in person. Who I am online.. is in my opinion an inaccurate reflection of who I am in real life. Think of how many people in your life you know this to be true for as well. Think of the many people in your life who are characterized wrong or misunderstood simply because they have a hard time conveying their thoughts in written form as opposed to if they do it in person with vocal and body language cues. Think about it.... This is the social world we live in. I do not know how many people or who the people who post anonymously are.. I don't think I even wish I did for fear of what I'd do to them... but I can tell you that.. I've done enough to myself.
So from this moment forward, this blog will no longer be a place where I share my thoughts and opinions on anything really. It will once again, for the first time in 10 years, be a site totally dedicated to race and hike reports. Nothing more, nothing less. Just sharing the adventures in the hope that others will find inspiration to get out there and dare to push themselves further. It pains me incredibly to have to make this decision and actually implement it..
Recently, I've received correspondence from a fellow RD here in Colorado where he expressed his honest thoughts about me, that I am vulgar, offensive, and a condescending asshole. Sure.. my idea of fun is different than others. I can be vulgar. I can be offensive.. but so can everyone else. When people first reach out to me and tell me that they've heard great things about me.. I hunt for the truth, and many admit that their friends have also told them "I'm crazy, a little rough, but mean well." I don't want to be any of those things because deep down I know I'm not. Deep down I'm a husband, and a father, and an adventurer. Yeah.. I'm a little crazy, I'm a little rough, I mean well.. but I'm so much more. I'm definitely awful at personal PR..
As I continue to build what I consider to be my "cathedral" here in Colorado, my goal is for people to get a very accurate representation of who I truly am. Not who they've read about online. Not whose opinionated/asshole pieces they've read on various topics. Real Life. I struggle with HPRS because I don't view it as a business.. I view it as a community. At the end of the day though, if it's going to make it, if it's going to succeed, if my son is going to look up to me.. it's time to sign off.
And so.. I want to thank the many of you out there who have read this blog over the years. You've endured much pain coming from my fingers that type. You've been with me for the great moments and you've been there through the lackluster. You've seen me come close with suicide and death. You've seen me be triumphant in my personal goals. What you haven't seen.. is the real life pain and struggle that has come with it. I am so much more than words in a blog. I hope that many of you will stand up from behind your screen... and explore people in person. There's a wonderful world out there filled with a lot of great good people.. I hope by doing this.. some day, I can just be one of them.
So until the next Report to share from "out there"...
John Paul Lacroix