Friday, July 15, 2011

If You Aint First, You're Last...

Well...clearly the past week has been full of texts, emails and calls from friends saying some iteration of "If you guys don't win this mountain stage, I'm done watching." Expedition Impossible Episode 4 took us into the Atlas Mountains of Morocco...obviously the terrain that everyone expects us to dominate. We gave it everything we had...and 2nd was as good as we could do behind those little Gypsie jackrabbits.

Erik, Ike and I knew we would be expected to do well on this stage. In fact, essentially every team approached me asking "which way are you going to take up that mountain?" and "what layers are you gonna wear for the day". Clearly the other teams knew our experience in the mountains and although it was a competition, I was happy to give them honest and sincere recommendations. Seeing folks succeed makes me happy...however in the case of this race...I just want them to find success after we do.

A strange thing occurred in the course of this race...we got very close to each of these teams. The further we got in the competition, the more mutual respect we developed for each other.
Especially our Gypsy Bros...

My favorite line of the episode is when Gypsy Eric tells me "Jeff, if you get a key on the first try, I'm gonna punch you in the face" response, "well then, you better knock me out on that first punch". The rest of that line that didn't make the edit is always, "cause I'm gonna come up swingin for the fences". At least a bit of the No Limits/Gypsies banter is making it in the finished cut. It's clear that there was a lot of love between our two teams. We genuinely like these guys and although we are in full on competition mode with them throughout...there was a lot of help and nurturing along the way. We are currently in the process of combining team forces to create some really worthwhile future projects.
That being said...I'm very competitive, so I was fairly pissed with a 2nd place finish on the mountain stage. You heard it from Erik as he's interviewed by Dave at the finish line, "We wanted first, but I guess we'll take 2nd". We were wanting better.
Next week's episode is titled "A Blind Man's Nightmare"....hmmm. Sounds tough.