Dare to Try
Daring to venture into the unknown, testing one’s physical and mental limits, and embracing the true self—why do so many people fear such experiences?
Thomas Gottlind, a 43-year-old ultra-trail runner from Sweden, has often pondered this question.
Despite leading a busy life as a husband, father of three, and HR manager, Thomas has always made room for his passion for sports and the pursuit of new challenges.
In this article, we will delve into two recent remarkable feats accomplished by Thomas: his participation in the Swedish version of SAS Who Dares Wins and the grueling Cape Wrath Ultra trail race in the Scottish Highlands.
Blog by Katinka Nyberg…
Thomas Gottlind’s Inspiring Journey of Personal Growth and Endurance…
An Insatiable Curiosity
Thomas, known for his curiosity and desire to try new things, shares that the allure of challenging endeavors lies in testing and pushing his physical and mental boundaries. Rather than focusing on competition, he values the experiences gained through such adventures.
Ultra-Trail Running and Personal Development
Having embraced ultra-trail running, and the outdoor lifestyle for the past decade, Thomas explains that this endurance sport suits him well. While he has enjoyed various sports such as swimming and cycling, he finds ultra-trail running particularly fitting due to his exceptional endurance. He reflects on his mental journey during races, acknowledging the initial burst of energy, followed by moments of struggle akin to a deep abyss, and ultimately his strength in overcoming those challenges.
This mental fortitude, developed through the ultra-trail lifestyle, has profoundly shaped Thomas as a person.
SAS Who Dares Wins: A Unique Test
SAS Who Dares Wins, a simulation of elite military special forces training, became another notable challenge for Thomas. This program evaluates participants’ physical and mental aptitude as well as their ability to function within a group. Thomas was initially concerned about his group dynamics rather than his physical readiness.
The program’s intense demands, including sleep deprivation and unpredictable situations, left a lasting impact on him. Even weeks later, he experienced bouts of anxiety in the middle of the night.
Thomas also noted his disappointment with some group configurations during the program. But the shared hardships brought the final contestants who survived the challenge closer together, leading to deeper friendships and greater honesty.
Toughest Physical Obstacles
Reflecting on SAS Who Dares Wins, Thomas identifies climbing exercises, requiring significant arm strength, as the most challenging physical tasks. For instance, climbing a ladder up to Åre’s cable car tested his endurance and resilience, and here it was the arm strength that was the limitation.
Enjoying the Moment
When doubt crept in during his adventures, Thomas had a remarkable ability to fully embrace and appreciate the incredible experiences that lay before him. Among the countless awe-inspiring moments on his journey, one particular instance stood out as truly exhilarating: Thomas’s triumphant conquest of climbing a wire above a thunderous waterfall during the program, SAS Who Dares Wins.
The intense rush of lactic acid coursing through his arms and the surge of adrenaline pulsating through his veins served as powerful reminders of why he had embarked on such daring undertakings. Pausing momentarily, he took a deep breath, immersing himself in the breathtaking surroundings and allowing himself to luxuriate in the pure joy of savoring that very moment.
Transformation through Challenges
Although arduous, Thomas describes his SAS Who Dares Wins experience as an invaluable life lesson. While he believes his core personality remains largely unchanged, the experience has given him a newfound appreciation for resilience and personal growth.
Cape Wrath Ultra: Overcoming Setbacks
Another notable challenge Thomas undertook in May this year, was the Cape Wrath Ultra, a demanding 400 km, 8-day trail race in the Scottish Highlands, that he did together with his friend Stephanie.
Despite falling ill with food poisoning on the eve of the race, Thomas decided to participate. The initial stages proved difficult, with Thomas walking rather than running. Falling behind, he was moved to the non-competitive category. However, his determination kicked in, and with each passing day, he gradually regained his strength. On the eighth day, exhausted yet content, Thomas successfully completed the race. Reflecting on the experience, he emphasizes the reward and fulfillment derived from persevering through adversity.
A Bright Future
Considering his life experiences, background, challenges, work, and family, Thomas envisions a promising future. He currently finds contentment in balancing his family life, sports, and new endeavors. His upcoming plans include participating in the “Vätten runt” bicycle race, a 300 km challenge, as well as the “Gottland runt” ultra-trail race covering 550 km, which he estimates will take around five days to complete. Additionally, Thomas has a swimming challenge in open water, spanning 21 km, later this summer.
Words of Encouragement
When asked about his advice to others, Thomas emphasizes that many individuals are overly anxious and hesitant to try new things or take on challenging endeavors. He questions whether it stems from a fear of failure or concerns about others’ perceptions of weakness. However, he assures that opening up and embracing challenges will not lead to judgment from others. Drawing from his own experiences,
Thomas recalls the overwhelmingly positive feedback he received after being genuine and open about his background during SAS Who Dares Wins.
He encourages individuals to dare to try, as the rewards and personal growth gained from these experiences far outweigh any temporary suffering or initial self-doubt.
Thomas Gottlind’s remarkable journey exemplifies the transformative power of embracing challenges and pushing personal boundaries. Whether it is through ultra-trail running, participating in rigorous programs like SAS Who Dares Wins, or conquering grueling trail races, Thomas has consistently demonstrated his resilience, determination, and passion for self-discovery. His story serves as an inspiration for others to dare to try, to venture into the unknown, and to unlock their full potential in pursuit of a fulfilling life.
By continually seeking new challenges, Thomas not only enhances his own life but also inspires those around him to embrace their own journeys of personal growth and self-discovery. With his unwavering spirit and zest for life, Thomas Gottlind sets an example of what can be achieved when one dares to step outside their comfort zone and fearlessly pursues their passions.
In the face of adversity, Thomas has learned that true growth comes from digging oneself out of the darkest depths and emerging stronger than ever. His experiences have taught him that being open, honest, and embracing vulnerability not only leads to deeper connections with others but also fosters personal development.
As Thomas plans for a bright future filled with new challenges, he encourages everyone to overcome their fears and take that leap of faith. He reminds us all that judgment and criticism are far less prevalent than the support and admiration received when one shows their authentic self and perseveres through difficulties.
In conclusion, Thomas Gottlind’s journey reminds us that life’s most rewarding experiences often lie beyond our comfort zones. So, let us all dare to try, explore our limits, and embrace the unknown, for it is in these moments that we truly discover who we are and what we are capable of achieving.
Thank you so much, Thomas, for generously sharing your incredible story! Your journey is truly inspiring, and I have no doubt that it will ignite a spark of courage and motivation in countless individuals to venture into uncharted territories. Your fearless pursuit of new experiences serves as a powerful reminder that embracing the unknown can lead to remarkable personal growth and fulfillment. May your story continue to inspire and empower others to step outside their comfort zones and dare to try.
Arduua Supports Thomas and Stephanie in the Cape Wrath Ultra.
At Arduua, we believe in supporting individuals who embody the spirit of daring to try and pushing their limits. That’s why we are proud to sponsor Thomas and his friend Stephanie in their endeavor to conquer the Cape Wrath Ultra. Their unwavering determination, resilience, and passion for adventure align perfectly with our brand values.
Arduua, as a trail race training, and clothing company, recognizes the importance of providing athletes with the right gear to enhance their performance and comfort during challenging races. We are honored to be a part of Thomas and Stephanie’s journey, equipping them with our top-of-the-line Trail Race Garment.
We are excited to witness their progress and see them conquer the Scottish Highlands in the Cape Wrath Ultra. Thomas and Stephanie’s inspirational story serves as a reminder to everyone that with the right mindset, gear and support, incredible feats can be achieved.
/Katinka Nyberg, Arduua Founder