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


At the top of the Earth, things are quite unexpected. Rainbows become circles overhead. The head becomes light. Thoughts become clear. #dreamsBeyondReality become attainable.

High Altitude Training

Running at 17,000 feet with my buddy Abhi near #PangongLake in #India. #LaUltra #theHigh is so close now, I can hardly sleep at night. Oxygen deprived... chasing my #dreamsBeyondReality

Time Stands Still

At eleven o'clock the generator gears stop grinding. The pistons pinging and the low grumbling purr are replaced by complete and total silence. At eleven o'clock #PangongLake loses its last remaining trace of civilization. The generators are turned off; darkness and silence are all that remain.

Our first night there was a cloudy night. Not a star in the sky could be seen. The moon had made its way to another part of the planet. Not a lumen of light lighted the way back to our cabin. We were stuck in the middle of nowhere. It was as if the world had been shut off and we remained in a void.

Then our senses adjusted. We could hear the flick of a Tibetan flag flowing defiantly against the wind. Then the sound of running water, flowing quietly along the path, rose slowly into the audible range. The darkness began to take on a life of its own. Like a symphony of nature, one instrument added texture to the next. Lizards crawling then vegetation swaying then the sound of small waves making it to shore. The darkness became powerful. Complex. Strange. Beautiful. Dreams hidden beyond reality only noticeable when the distractions of everyday life were removed.

We stood silently. Listening. Dreaming. Secretly hoping that the generators would never be turned on.

Mountain Strong

Raindrops dripped against the sheet of red metal that rolled in sign waves along the top of our homestay. Every once in a while, a big drop rang out and silenced the steady drumroll of mist. The rain fell unto a ground, so thirty from days of relentless sunshine, that the dirt remained dry to the touch. And dark clouds moved across the tips of the peaks that enveloped the city of #Leh.

As the sunlight conceded to the dark of night, the raindrops remained in steady rhythm. We laced up our #altras and covered in waterproof gear and made our way into the chill of night. It had been 6 days in the mountains where each movement was more labored. Each breath required a little more inhalation. But this night, along empty mountain roads, in a shower of cold mountain mist, our strides were renewed. Each footstep was planted with power. Each breath felt unlabored and effective. As if the mountain had given it's final grade, we passed, awarded the privilege of being 'mountain strong.' --- Today completes the first week of tapering and the total milage for the week is 67. It was very interesting to push through acclimatization, to feel a labored stride and the absence of breath. A sensation that I have not felt in many years. It was as if I was returning to my roots, when I first got into running, and a mile felt like an unsurmountable distance. Acclimatization has served as a reminder of the things I take for granted and the strength the next generation must have to get into this sport. That those things worth doing require faith and determination and the ability to chase the #dreamsBeyondReality

20 Days Until #laUltra #TheHigh

#Leh #India

Ever since my waking hours have become replete with unexpected adventures, the dreams that fill my unconscious mind now pale in comparison.

Today, our 6th day in Leh, we focused on interacting with the wild animals that roam the roads and walkways and public places. To the Western mind, the natural tendency is to control and segment the world. We see animals at the zoo or on a leash or heading in the other direction as we approach. Our lives and their lives exists independently. An expectation that is a byproduct of my upbringing. Here, in this place, all life coexists and interacts without boundaries. Cows and donkeys and dogs that patrol the streets at night soon include people into their daily routines. We recognize each other. Greet each other. Anticipate each other.

The photo is of a natural gathering location where animals graze and socialize. All animals are welcome, even the kind that walk on two legs and drink copious amounts of #tailwind. @run_like_hell and I thought that we would stop by and bring treats.

Training so far has been great and my lungs have gotten used to the thin air. Tomorrow will be 1 full week here in Leh and I should have the planned 70 miles completed. Steeling myself for the adventure soon to come where I will exhaustedly chase my #dreamsBeyondReality
Day 1 - 12 Miles
Day 2 - 13 Miles
Day 3 - 6 Miles
Day 4 - 18 Miles
Day 5 - 6 Miles
55 Miles

23 Days until #LaUltra #theHigh

Today's training focused on both physical adaptation and spiritual growth. On the physical side, we did numerous 1000 meter hill repeats until i could barely gasp in enough oxygen to stand up. We climbed sand-covered trails up the mountainside that surrounded the town.
But more breathtaking still is listening to the #DalaiLama speak at a small gethering in #Leh. He is visiting Leh this entire week and we got to be a part of of this event. Not much to add to that. I mean, it was the Dalai Lama. It was absolutely amazing!
Total miles for the day was 6. The total miles for the week so far is 31.

Today, my tired feet fell heavily to the ground. I stepped up the pace a bit and the distance by a couple of miles. The bounce that quelled the absence of oxygen and the drag of a constant climb, no longer made its way into my stride. My sunburned skin throbbed against an unrestrained sun. My throat scratched with each excoriating breath, as fine dust filled the void of passing cars. Today, I just pushed. Constantly and methodically pushed. There was no glory or confidence building or introspection. I simply pushed. Constantly and methodically pushed.

And as I made my way back into #Leh and showered off all that the day accumulated, I wanted to end the run with something uplifting.
So @run_like_hell and I made the 1000 foot ascent up #lehpalace and watched the sun, slowly sink into the mountains. To tuck itself into the roads and trails and inclines so desperate to break me earlier. Watching this beauty, too beautiful to describe, I couldn't help but smile and appreciate all that the day had provided. I was suddenly filled with an abundance of gratitude to be in this place at this time with so many wonderful people. Especially the person next to me, watching this beauty, too beautiful to describe. Each of us, chasing our #dreamsBeyondReality

25 Days Until La Ultra

@run_like_hell and I arrived in Leh India yesterday and mostly lounged around. Today was the first acid test to see if the training has been on point. I was surprised to find the elevation had almost no noticeable effect on my run nor did the 91 degree heat. It was a light, uphill run that peaked around 13,500 feet and extended to a little under 12 miles. Today left me feeling optimistic and excited. Fueled up and filled with anticipation for chasing my #dreamsBeyondReality

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

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