dreamsbeyondreality dreamsbeyondreality

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Matthew Maday  Exploring the world while connecting and helping people realize their dreams. Explorer⚡️Ultra-Runner⚡️Yogi⚡️Skateboarder⚡️Author⚡️Vegetarian⚡️Surfer


The Climb

What's in the climb?
Stones slide-down swiftly beneath trail-battered feet as the body struggles to progress on the climb. The sun rays relentlessly breach squinted eyes and over-expose all that dares to test it on the climb. Tightened muscles tremble and ache to pull upward against the power of gravity on the climb. Sweat becomes salt that no longer cools the skin and the air holds still in protest on the climb. Dry lips draw in dry air as a layer of white residue coats the mouth on the climb. And the heat, pouring in to all pores and into our core can be heard as a vibrating buzz on the climb. And like a toy that trudges on, powered by batteries almost drained, one foot slowly swings over the other.
Up the hill.
So what is this for? Some might argue that the pay off is the view at the top. Others have argued that the climb is the price we must pay for the thrill of the event. To me, the climb is a beautiful expression of man's optimism and determination. The climb is self-contained and wonderful in its own right. I moment of innocence and purity. A necessary component of the #dreamsBeyondReality
About the Photo:
This photo was taken during the @faethonOlympusMarathon on #MountOlympus in #Greece.

Never Beyond Your Reach

I often contemplate the concept of my own reach. More specifically, the imaginary limitations that govern what I see as realistic; what I perceive as beyond the safety zone. Where did the stuff that keeps dreams at bay and far from our daily lives come from in the first place? Until we attempt to grasp beyond our reach, powered solely by the belief in our ability to make it work, will we ever know our true limitations. Have faith in your dreams and more importantly, yourself. Grasp far beyond the #dreamsBeyondReality

Uno Mas!
Okay, no explanations here except to say, well, the only thing better than one ass kicking is two ass kickings. With some support and influence from our running friends in #Thessaloniki and specifically Orestis Orestis, @run_like_hell and I were accepted to run the #faethonOlympusMarathon a day before it's start. This race wasn't in the plan but the best plans are usually to ones that accommodate late-minute craziness. This race will be the same extreme heat, high altitude and technical terrain of #OlympusMythicalTrail but in 4 km. It should be an ass-kicking, especially since we race the 100k one week earlier.
As usual, we are chasing our #dreamsBeyondReality
Taken by Go! Experience - Greg Tsolakis

New Boundaries

Okay. This picture kind of says it all. You probably don't have to look too hard to see that I am completely out of my element. Grip-tape worn skateboard shoes. Hugo boss pants. Some grey shirt that I had to buy because, well, golf isn't golf without a collar. Or maybe it is the expression on my face that gives me away? A lethal mixture of fear and fury.
And yet, I really enjoyed playing golf. Good friends. Beautiful weather. Pragmatism meets pin-point accuracy. I even hit a few shots that I was warned would turn me into a golf enthusiast. I think that I'll stick to running but it was a nice vacation from my comfort zone. It also served as a reminder to keep trying new things. It's all good stuff... even when you lose 10 golf balls in the weeds and rivers. These moments of healthy discomfort are those that lead us toward the #dreamsBeyondReality
About the photo:
Special thanks to Mark and Joey for helping me to appreciate the strange art-form of golf.

Blur the Lines

Somewhere between fact and fiction - between our memory and 'real-time' reality - we live our daily lives. By the time we have time to process a moment, the moment is gone and we must put it into context based on recollection. Would it be too far stretching to say we live our lives in a dream-like state? That reality is subjective? If this the case, would it be too far stretching to say that we are pilots of our own existence? We may not be able to control the winds of fate, but we most certainly control the yoke of memory and interpretation.
If this sounds plausible, then we must live each day finding the best in each moment and of each other. Seek the goodness of this experience, and have that define your reality. Who knows? You may already be living your #dreamsBeyondReality

Warm Exhalation

Recently, a good friend and wonderful humanitarian had reached out to me with a surprising text. (I am paraphrasing here) "Matthew, I am not sure what to do. I have been training for so long and I am not sure if I can continue." He confided. "I had always intended to stay for several more years but I think that I am going to break." To put the message into context, this friend was studying Kung Fu, in a remote Shaolin temple, in the mountains of China. A place devoid all but the practice and perfection of a superhuman artform. It was the place I had attended for a while last year and to say that the experience was "fully immersive" would be an understatement. It was a place that required a full commitment, before sun up to beyond sun down. Every single day. And this friend literally lived and breathed the program. And he was good. Probably the best student I had encountered.

My response to him was as vague as some of my posts. It was simply this "Continually inhaling is not compatible with life. Eventually, you must exhale. Even if only for a moment". His interpretation of my advice was that he should take a short break before returning to the temple.
Months later, I found myself struggling to keep up with a beyond-maintainable training schedule, that i designed for myself, to prepare for the 333k Himalayas ultra #LaUltra. I didn't see it at the time but I too, metaphorically, had only been inhaling. My own advice fell on deaf ears when it came to my own journey. Just before i reached the breaking point, @run_like_hell found us a place called #bluelagoon in #iceland. A place nature created for we over-worked inhabitants of this blue sphere. A place where weary travelers can indulge in a deep, long, exhale. And so I did. Leaving reenergized and ready to chase the #dreamsBeyondReality

The Edge of the Earth

We the carefree and blissful float freely on plates so gigantic, words like 'tectonic' are used to describe them. On rivers of molten lava, these masses move steadily, holding boundless bodies of water, countless countries and congested cities. Sometimes they drift, ever-so-slightly apart, leaving wounds that run deep into the ground. At other times, they crash together, with beautiful violence, creating towering mountain ranges. And we, the helpless passengers, float this way and that way, carried like polar bears transversing arctic waters.

Each plate has an edge, an end to the earth, mostly tucked away from our awareness. All but one edge sit deep within oceanic waters, like the wizard behind the curtains of Oz. The only visible edge can be found within #Iceland, where the edges of the Earth can be touched. A place where the North American and Eurasian plates have been slowly moving apart. There the edges line up in opposition, divided by an expanse that is 'technically' nowhere. It is a place between the plates. And we, the dreamers are reminded that it is possible to walk between the plates of reality. To exist in the place between places. Unbound by reality. Here, we are able to chase our #dreamsBeyondReality
About the photo:
Standing on the great continental divide, looking up at the North American plate.

Unexpected Playgrounds

Playgrounds are places that allow us to escape from the toil of everyday life. A swing in the backyard for an energetic child. A man-cave in a cellar covered with sports memorabilia and flatscreen TV. My playground is the gigantic Mount #Vitosha that towers over the city of #Sofia. Vitosha stands tall and is almost never removed from sight. A constant reminder to go out there; to enjoy each moment; to chase the #dreamsBeyondReality
#chasingSummer #matthewmaday


Part 3

This was a place of peace and violence, simultaneously. It was beautiful and frightening. Dangerous and exciting. Initially we tried to stand, but the wind dropped us to our knees. It was if we were forced to pay the situation "the proper respect" as we stared off at the color-faded ground. We gazed upon a fading memory of a former life and a distant place.
This place was beyond "our" places. Beyond the world of comfort that we knew. It was anxious to free itself of our intrusion; blowing icy air, rocks and dust in protest. "We will leave, soon enough" I said against the force of air that consumed all words and intentions. And in a final act of defiance, we continued our run across wind-blown ridge. Enjoying the spoils of toil and our blessing. As we made our way, wind gusts would lift us. As our feet stretched in full stride our landing was delayed by a second or two. When the wind was just right, we would get such lift that it was possible to take two strides before landing. We were running on the moon, floating freely, laughing loudly. Our jackets became parachutes that could both reward us with flight and curse us with removal from the ridge. We became both fear and bliss, pushing through a dream that lead to the #dreamsBeyondReality.

Moonwalk -Part 2

When my exposed skin could no longer bare the cold-bite of the wind, I emptied my backpack of its gear. My hands were frozen and unable to grab zippers or buttons snaps. With wrists and my waist, I pulled together some semblance of dress; enough to quell the continual shaking. We continued our run, making it to a radio tower; the highest man-made structure on the mountain. From that point, the sparse civilization that gave us comfort during our run would be beneath us and beyond our assistance. We climbed into the emptiness. Over trails of stone that slithered through larger stones that surrounded.
We made it to the base of the final summit. It was defined by a final, steep 1000 foot peak, that was composed of loose rocks and dirt. It was an ascent that required patience and persistence. We ran at times. We clawed at loose rocks and dirt at times; sliding back down to where we started far too many times. We huddled together at times, taking cover from gusts of wind threw rocks and dust in our direction. Slowly but surely, we made our way to the top. And when we reached it, our clothes shook and twisted against wind that pushed us around. The wind wind had picked up and was blowing between 75 to 100 mph - I had later discovered - the equivalence of a mild tornado. The wind was just so loud. It was impossible to hear. It reminded me of the deafening roar of skydiving. It was a deafening static that drowned everything out, as we stood atop this massive, dark shelf that towered over the world.
This was a place of peace and violence, simultaneously. It was beautiful and frightening. Dangerous and exciting. Initially we tried to stand, but the wind dropped us to our knees. It was if we were forced to pay the situation "the proper respect" as we stared off at the color-faded ground. We gazed upon a fading memory of a former life and a distant place.

Part 1

Our morning started in the afternoon. A watch was all that seemed to care about time in a place unburdened by night. We planned to run the snow covered mountain ridge that decorated our view, as we sipped extra-strong, instant coffee. It was a towering shelf that struggled to cover the late night sun. Even from a distance, it looked gigantic. It was a large, dark, volcanic landmass devoid of any discernible life. We Googled what the hell could possibly be up there and were surprised by what we found. This ridge was a maze of trails, zig-zagging in every direction. We also found a special trail that twisted and turned until finally making it to the top. As the warm caffeine began to take it's hold, coursing forcefully through our system, we planned and figured and estimated and measured until finally we talked ourselves into finding it.

As with most place we ran in #Iceland, the mountain was its own time and place. It belonged to itself and was like nothing else. At the base was a forest with paths padded by long pine needles.The weather was warm but soothed by a steady, gentle breeze. We made our way up in comfort, I was in shorts and a blue #keyserRunKrew tee-shirt, but my backpack stood at-the-ready if the weather changed.
As we climbed upward, we found a line that circled the mountain, where vegetation was replaced by dust and stone. A burn-line. Possibly due to volcanic activity. As far as I could see, life ceased to exist. As we crossed this line, our soft padded strides became jarring and more technical. Clear skies became cloud-cover and the wind had become more intense. It was if we had crossed some invisible boundary. As if we were intruding on something more substantial than we had expected. Dente's march deep into hell.

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