This past weekend, I took on the Berryman Trial in MO. 27.1 total miles. This is a single day adventure. This trail has quickly become a bit of a testing ground for me.
Last year, I set out to tackle it in two sections. At this point, my longest hike was about 12-13 miles while I was training for a 30k trail run in Bryce Canyon (check out or documentary FRAGILE about the run and the 9 knee surgeries leading up to it).
I popped out to hit this trail and do an overnight camping trip. But as it happened, I just kept moving and did the whole thing in a day. More than doubling the distance of my longest hike, while also carrying two days’ worth of food and gear to sleep outside in.
This experience last year changed a lot of my mindset for me. It made me realize, I’m still capable of far more than I know. Bonnie and I had spoken about going and doing it again. It was best for the both of us to try and overnight camp it this time, but I prepared and packed poorly (I forgot the jet boil) and her gear wasn’t fitting well. We had planned to go for it again in the near future, but that plan changed a bit.
As we have been growing a rad community around our gym DOPE and the 1612 mentor group, we opened the invite to anyone out there wanting to join us. Slowly, the list of people grew. What we simply wanted was to organize a hike for people to join us. We didn’t want to “host” anything. We are not responsible for any part of your hike. You bring everything you need. We are there to share the experience with you.
So Friday night, we rolled out and camped the night before. By the time we hit the trail in the morning at 5:30AM, we had a group of 20 people.
11 hours later, we returned to the trucks limping, tired, blistered, and sore but accomplished.
This is a hard effort that was really simple. The simple part was we were going to walk. It was a simple day and we all chose to do something hard for no other reason than we wanted to do something hard.
For those that joined, I kept hearing the same things. “People kept asking, why are you doing this?” The answer was because I want to. No further explanation is ever needed. Choosing to do hard things sets you up to handle hard things down the road.
Life is always going to present challenges and obstacles. Even if you try to hide from it, life will find you.
Choosing to test yourself physically and mentally.
Choosing to be stressed and tired.
Choosing to practice performing no matter the circumstance is critical for developing confidence in yourself.
This comes from accomplishing hard things. It comes from telling that voice that’s wants to stop, “FUCK OFF” because today, we keep going.
There isn’t a risk to testing yourself like this. Seeing everyone’s vibe and smiles after the hike was contagious. Even most of our crew attended DOPE for Sunday Service the day after for an active recovery session and quality conversations.
Last year, I did this alone and this year, 20 people joined me. I can see that more and more people want this community. If my job going forward is to be the best lighthouse I can for a community to gather around, I’m here for it.
DOPE was built to enhance performance in any realm. It will continue to be a lighthouse for those in need of safe harbor. No bullshit. No drama. No judgment.
If you want to get better, we are your people. For those that choose to do more.
There comes a time and place where the people and the things you’re doing don’t serve your goals anymore. Perhaps your community doesn’t understand your desire for more and bigger dreams. Your family doesn’t understand you. Artists looking for inspiration. People wanting to train but don’t know where to start. I hear it a lot. “THE PEOPLE I’M AROUND DON’T GET ME. I don’t know where to find my kind of people. “
If you want to make a trip out, here are our upcoming Sunday Service dates.
Dates: 4/17, 5/15, 5/22, 5/29
Time: 10AM - 2PM CST
Location: 1327 Hughes Place, Saint Louis MO 63110
And our next DOPE party is May 13th. (Sunday Service to follow on 5/15).
FRIDAY THE 13th: SLASHERS PARTY!!!
Horror Movies, onesies, pizza, popcorn, community, tattoos, and friends. Come out and get weird with us.
SPREAD HVIII, ALWAYS PARTY