“Get out there and go for it”: Meet your new sports/outdoors reporter | VailDaily.com

“Get out there and go for it”: Meet your new sports/outdoors reporter

A debut feature from your new sports/outdoors reporter

Ryan Sederquist is the Vail Daily sports and outdoors reporter.
Courtesy photo

On a perfect late September Saturday, a certain frustrated, overburdened public school teacher with dreams of being a writer was stewing in his own self-pity as he mindlessly drove south towards Buena Vista in a train of cars going 72 mph. Ascending the one uphill before the small, bustling Chaffee County community, an approaching truck hauling a skid-steer suddenly jackknifed. Vehicles converging upon the ensuing disaster had just enough time to brake, slowing to a stop a mere 20 yards from the out-of-control, twisting load. If everyone had elected to leave their homes five seconds sooner, it might have been different.

Fortunately, the truck was able to overcorrect twice without flipping. The driver hopped out, unharmed, and began directing cars around his vehicle, which sat perpendicular to the flow of traffic. With a newborn at home, it was one of those “life is precious” moments for this teacher … er, writer. Considering the day up to that point — sacrificing a weekend to make $50 writing a piece maybe 100 people would read, all to advance a dream still hankering for a big break, while a mountain of papers waited to be graded at home — made it a “give thanks for all things, and make the most of your opportunities” kind of moment.

Little did I know that in the race I was about to cover, the real “story within the story” wouldn’t be about the headliner — recent Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (the Super Bowl of ultra running) back-to-back champion, 2018 Western States (the World Series of ultra running) champion, and 2017 Moab 240 champion (a race in which she defeated all of the boys, too), Courtney Dauwalter. Rather, it would be about a Boston man who finished 11 minutes outside of the race time cut-off. Brand new runner Paul Omar was listening to a podcast Dauwalter appeared on this past April when he felt compelled to register for his first running race ever. He signed up for September’s inaugural West Line Winder 50K, part of Buena Vista’s 14erFest. The longest he had run at that point in his life was 5 miles.

His story — my first feature in my new role at the Vail Daily — needs no more personal support. And so, in lieu of hijacking more than the hopefully attention-getting introduction, here’s to saying “hello” from yours truly, the new sports and outdoors reporter.

Unlike Mr. Omar, I’ve been dreaming of this for more than a few months. I recall being a homeschooled second grader, waking up early on the last day of the week to print and distribute the early edition of South Branch News, a 15-page school newspaper complete with breaking news, editorials and, of course, an ever-expanding sports section, to the student body — my twin brother. It didn’t matter what I had to work with — I always found the narrative. While serving this community, I promise to give 100% effort to be the best writer I can be. I’ll apply my John Woodenesque philosophy to promoting the people and passions of this valley with truth, discernment and joy.

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While it would be false to say my writing career started in the exact same manner as Paul Omar’s running life, that isn’t the point.

Looking back, I realized his story is one of shedding the unnecessary weight of fear that so often entangles and prevents us from venturing down the path we were destined for. It isn’t a perfect parallel to my career path, but it’s a worthy message we all perhaps ought to consider, and I’m grateful to make it my first feature.


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