What is it about people who just won’t quit? For Ray Morvan, it’s all about “finding a way.”
Ray, who battled back from addiction and 26 abdominal surgeries to complete a record nine Peak Death Races (and win one of them), doesn’t see obstacles as a reason to quit. Why? Clarity came to Ray on a mountain in Vermont, and it came from one of the worst experiences of his life.
During a Death Race, Ray got a text from his wife that was actually meant for another man. He was about to leave the event, but we insisted that he stay. Surrounded by the unconditional support of his fellow Death Racers, he realized he could get through anything if he just kept driving forward.
In his words, “The Death Races taught me that I could do anything I put my mind to.”
The discipline of racing and putting himself out there had many benefits for Ray. Another was that it taught him “how to be alone with [his] thoughts.” For a veteran and recovering addict, this was a major accomplishment. At the same time, the camaraderie of racing taught him to enjoy being with other people.
“My path might be a little different from others’, but we’re all on the same journey,” Ray says.
Here are Ray’s quick tips for your journey to success:
· No one has to go it alone. Surround yourself with honest, like-minded people who will support you when the going gets tough. Life can be a test of will, but there are people who will help you.
· Lace up and suit up. You have to get out there if you’re going to make things happen.
· Gain power from those around you. Inspiring people will motivate you to be a better person and drive toward success.
· Focus on helping others. Getting out of your own head through service to the community makes you better, and it makes the world better.
· Own your past. The only way to learn from your mistakes and move forward is to acknowledge where you came from.
· The first step is the hardest. If you’re struggling, understand that there’s always a way to the other side.
· Find an outlet. For Ray it was Spartan and the Death Race. It allowed him to channel formerly self-destructive tendencies into something productive.
· Take it one step at a time. Ray and I agree that you can solve any problem if you break it down into manageable chunks and handle things one at a time. “Just handle the task at hand,” Ray advises. It will keep you from becoming overwhelmed and conserve your resources for the next obstacle.
Today Ray is a mortgage loan officer and part of a family maple sugaring business, and he happily gives time to others who are beginning the same path he walked.
“People in the Spartan community will gather around you, raise you up high and help you to keep moving forward,” Ray says. “But it’s up to you to start by putting your own foot forward.”
Are you ready to start?