On Michael's second comeback from retirement, not everybody was cheering for him. Sure there were a lot of kids with 23 jerseys cheering for Michael. NBA General Manager's were cheering for him, and the Washington franchise, then Bullets now Wizards, was cheering for him. But let me assure the likes of Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett who had inherited the title of "NBA's Best were not cheering for him!" And today's best players LeBron James and Chris Paul sure wouldn't be cheering for Michael if made that third comeback today.That's why I love ultra-running over every other sport. If Michael had been a runner his competitors would have been asking for training tips, swapping stories, and generally hoping he did well. To a runner, I believe we'd all like to see Ann Trason out there dominating the trails again. We'd love to see Jurek running Western States again.
Two of my all-time favorite ultrarunners, Michelle and Ann, they Rock!
In ultra-running, unlike almost every other walk of life we cheer for each other, the new cheers for the old, the old cheers for the new, and we are a family. You look in the old ultra-runner's eyes and you know they have experienced things on the trail that the average person can't believe, and can't even comprehend. The experienced ultra runner looks in the eyes of the new ultrarunner and knows that runner is about to embark on a journey that will teach them what's in their soul.
Of course Michael Jordan has lost more money betting on golf than the entire ultra community has ever made running (and yes, that includes our spokesperson, Dean Karnazes) so that may play into it. Ann Trason and Scott Jurek aren't taking food off our table or H3's out of our driveway when they show up at Vermont or Leadville. Instead they are adding to our collective experience and knowledge and we are happy to have them at whatever speed!
Just to prove how ultrarunners are different when I just googled Ann Trason's pictures the very first picture to come up was a picture with her and my good friend Michelle Barton from SoCal. I just don't see Michael or Shaq standing around in shorts at a race posing with a new basket ball player and taking a few snap shots. Ultra Runners, we really are different, in a good way!