Content by Jefe Branham What are you willing to sacrifice to chase down your dreams? Willing to give up your spare time, your lifestyle? How about your social life, any chance of getting a date, meeting people other than bike geeks outside of bike races? I have been thinking a lot about what I am willing to give up, work for and live without to chase down my dreams. The thing is, once I am in the zone, absorbed, obsessed, it seems almost limitless. I have to do it, have to chase it down and give everything I have to at least try. Last time I wanted to take on the Tour Divide, I gave up a job, and some friends along with it. I gave up having a home shortly after coming back to town. I lived out of my truck and a storage unit for three months. I lost my best friend of 13 years two weeks before the race, the most wonderful, adorable dog ever. Some of this I chose, some just happened. It all added to the turmoil inside my heart. Life turned upside down, all for one hard 16 days… Now facing down the beast that is the TD, I am again troubled by the sacrifices I will have to make. Will I lose another job? Will my dogs forgive me for leaving for three weeks. Will my poor body forgive me for the abuse that I am going to dish out to it? Will I ever have the chance at having a girlfriend? Will I regret not being able to race for the rest of the season…maybe not be able to eat or pay rent? Oh, the limits of what is reasonable get blurry once I am excited. And I am excited, I want to take everything I have, every bit of energy, of desire, of unharnessed craziness and focus it at that route. I want to throw myself and everything that makes me frustrated in everyday of my life and give it to that race. I want to have nothing left, nothing. That is what I am willing to sacrifice…as has been said, “when you got nothing, you got nothing to lose…” About the author: Jefe Branham is no stranger to bikepacking, he has done the Arizona Trail Race, owns the record time for both east and westbound routes for the Colorado Trail Race, and took 2nd place in the Tour Divide in 2011 on a single speed,  just over 4 hours behind winner Kurt Refsnider. Jefe is going for the Tour Divide again and you can bet if everything goes right he will be near the front.

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