Leisure Life: Support Crew

via Jeff Griffith-Jones – AVAC

“An ultramarathoner needs a crew to get through the difficult stretches, to help locate the sweet spots, merely to keep moving.” ~Scott Jurek, taken from Eat and Run.

Wyatt Blue

I’m no ultramarathoner…yet, but like Scott Jurek, my passions in life take pull me away from my family and friends.  Individual sports such as triathlon and mountaineering require getting out and away from everything while leaving your loved ones to take care of kids, home, cars, and the rest of the daily grind.  My support crew is everything to me.

On some occasions, I get to give back to my crew, like on August 16th of this year.  My wife, Danielle gave birth to our second little boy, Wyatt, at 6:30 am.  On the way to the hospital the night before, Danielle looks at the goofy grin on my face, and listens to my muttering through my mental checklists and says, “I feel like you get pumped up for this sort of thing.”

I do.

I love preparing for something knowing that I’m still going to be thrown curveballs that are going to cause me to rely on instinct and wits.  I love thinking that my endurance training, green juicing, and nutrition planning will pay off when pulling an all-nighter with my best friend and the outcome is going to be an addition to our family.  But most of all, I love being given the opportunity to give back to the person who has allowed my entire lifestyle to exist.

Danielle has always held down our familial fort when I am away, she handles logistics and equipment for all of my races, supported me every step of the way in starting my own business and returning to school for a master’s, called search and rescue stations when my dad and I are 12 hours past our return time, and most importantly she keeps my head screwed on straight when I doubt myself.

Classic Danielle Advice: I came back from the packet pick up for my first Olympic-distance tri, intimidated by all the battle-worn racers there with their shirts from previous years’ races.  Danielle says, “You know that mini-tri that you won last year? Next packet pick up wear the medal you won, pick out the most athletic-looking guy, look him straight in the eye, tell him ‘nice shirt,’ and keep walking.”

So on 8/16/13 I got the opportunity to say thank you, to use my training for something totally different, and to support someone far stronger than me.  The result was beautiful Wyatt Samuel Griffith-Jones, 20”, 6 lbs 11 oz.  I took the above pic after his first hike, at 9 days old in Uvas Canyon.  Danielle says the look on his face is due to his sudden realization of the type of family he was born into 🙂


~Jeff Griffith Jones

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