I will define myself… not by external circumstances or with groups of people but by the person I am by doing the things that bring me joy. In the process of becoming, we must learn to unbecome who we have been. For so many years the Leadville Race Series has been a part of my summers. Leadville and Twin Lakes have been more to me than just a place to run and adventure and explore… it has become a part of who I am. I knew this year was going to be difficult and the decisions to get where I am today would force me to grow past who I have been so I can continue toward who I will be in the future.
Although I have a great sadness within me, I am at peace with not having Leadville/Leadman as an achievable goal this year. I will still run the longest trails over the highest mountains yet now I have the unique opportunity to stop and enjoy the view. I plan to take time to reflect and write as the next stage of my life is unfolding in real time. I am so grateful for my clients and the people who support me as I move forward toward a dream only I can see.
We learn to live and to love by being outside because in nature there is no one to judge us… we are free to judge ourselves. It is when the freedom from social and cultural norms is lifted that we can begin to ‘be’ rather than ‘do’ and this will help us find our way.
In the journey of life, it is in being Outward Lost that I have been Inward Found. Meet me on the Corner of Sunshine and Hope, where the Sun meets the Mountain and the struggle builds strength… and where love has no limits or boundaries as the universe spreads her wings. The cool, crisp mountain air will cleanse the soul of anyone who is willing to breathe her in.
The road is long.
The mountain is steep.
There is one thing this race can’t keep.
I hold the power of my self worth and self love.
When the darkness of the night seems like you’ll have to long to fight, remember to follow the three feet in front of you. Keep your head up and feet moving forward because the hill through the darkness doesn’t last forever and soon enough you’ll find your inner Sunshine in the second Sunrise of your Life.
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Jan 1st, 2020
2016- At a time I thought I was unstoppable, Leadville broke me.
2017- At a time I wanted to run away, Leadville gave me the space to disappear.
2018- At a time I was lost, Leadville found me.
2019- At a time I needed Hope, Leadville is where I found it.
2020- At a time I want to strengthen my mind, I will journey to Leadville once again. I go to follow the path of the Leadmen who know the process of mining the most profitable resources from the darkest places. I will search the deepest depths of myself to find the unknown possibilities hidden in the silence of the night. Learning from the strength and courage I gain, I will ride 100 miles through the highest mountains with the opportunity to again run 100 miles across the sky.
The road is long.
The mountain is steep.
There is one thing this race can’t keep…
I will hold my self-worth near knowing a title or a number will not define me… but I will define myself. I may drift and I may wander never finding a place I can call home, but maybe what I’ll learn is home isn’t a place or a thing but a feeling we get when people accept us for who we are, who we aren’t and everything we can be. That is what I imagine home feels like… and…
Leadville, I’m coming home 🌞🏔
“You don’t find Leadville… Leadville finds you.” ❤️

Published by Gary Stotler

Gary Stotler is a father, running, fitness, weight loss and personal development addict. Formally 400 pounds, Gary has naturally lost 200 pounds, created a coaching & speaking business and has become a 100 mile ultra-runner. Holding a degree in Psychology & Sociology, certifications from the National Academy of Sports Medicine as a personal trainer, mindset & behavioral modification coaching, a certification in DISC personality assessment coaching and he is a certified speaker, coach & mentor with the John Maxwell Team. Gary firmly believes, if we take One Step at a Time, nothing is impossible. He is determined to let his actions show people what is possible and hopes to help you shake up your thoughts, change your actions and create your future.

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