A lack of balance nearly drowned me. I was wound so tight, trying to be the best athlete I could be, that I sunk into isolation, where my performance, relationships, and creativity dimmed. I was working so hard to succeed, to fit what I thought I needed to do to be the best runner I could be, that my passion dampened, and the spark of training no longer lit me on fire on race day.
And so I raced with the weight of a wet blanket, unpassionate and unable to turn on the heat when it came down to it. I did alright, but I got tired of carrying the burden of neuroticism and expectation and eventually stopped racing altogether. Holding onto all the intricacies of what I thought it took to be a professional trail runner was a check I couldn’t cash and drained me of life and led me to failure. I was so intent on my vision that I became a pariah. The roughness of my against-the-grain attitude may have ruffled too many feathers.
So the pendulum swung, as it tends to do in the face of failure. I let go completely of all the habits, attitude, and passion that eventually dampened me, forgetting that it also drove me to where I am. I became nonchalant and raced as if I didn’t care, trained like I’d have infinite chances. And while I gained back the trust of my friends and found myself much happier overall, my racing was simply average. My running was mediocre. Not the fierce and brave racing of the desperate girl chasing a dream. I was racing as if the outcome didn’t matter at all.
I will not be a great athlete with fire so hot that I burn everything in my wake. My friendships, work, and passions are there to keep me afloat. But giving in to the wet blanket of mediocrity that I used to put out my passionate fire will drown me just the same.
To be successful, I have to strike a balance between the intricacies that made me great. The .01% that made me stand out in a field of high-performing competitors. But I also can’t be tied to those things either. My passion has to be fluid, ready to fill open spaces but also washing over those where it can’t fit.
Method Seven Trail is built on setting ourselves apart. Method Seven is different, and to be successful, we have to prove it. This is not your typical sunglasses company producing accessories first, with performance features molding to the newest style.
Method Seven Trail makes experience optics, which are different from sunglasses and the first of their kind. Designed with performance as the priority so trail runners can experience their adventure without even noticing their eye protection. As far as we know, they are the first of their kind.
Method Seven Trail does not make sunglasses. But then, where do we fit in?
I have found myself in a similar predicament as I did when I torched my career with stubborn passion. I haven’t set myself in flames quite yet, but I recognize the signs.
As Method Seven Trail grows, how do we strike a balance between being different while still vibing with the outdoor industry? How does Method Seven Trail set itself apart from the already uber-successful brands like Oakley and Goodr as something that is, in fact, completely different while still earning the time of day of the consumer and media, who often don’t have time for nuance or intricacy?
I don’t know the answer yet, but arming myself with the lessons I learned as a trail runner while also being wary of conforming out of exhaustion, will hopefully act as sirens.
Have an idea? Reach out to the team at Method Seven Trail on social media. What category do you see Method Seven Trail in? Who is and what is Method Seven Trail to you? We are all ears.