Five questions with Josiah Middaugh

Five questions with Josiah Middaugh

Posted by: Tom Boyd

He’s tough, he’s tested, and he’s one of the best athlete adventure sportsmen in the world. To find out more about our returning GMC Ultimate Mountain Challenge Champ and XTERRA World Champion, we sat down with Josiah Middaugh to find out more about what makes him tick as he prepares to return to the GoPro Mountain Games’ main event in 2019.

  1. What’s the best moment you’ve experienced as an athlete?

The best moment of my career was winning the XTERRA World Championship in 2015.  It was my 15th consecutive time in Maui competing in the same World Championship event.  The race is the pinnacle of my sport and it caused me to do a lot of reflecting on the journey to get to that point.

  1. What’s the toughest moment, or biggest challenge, you’ve experienced as an athlete?

I believe grit and perseverance are only forged through adversity and I’ve had my share.  I have had 5 knee surgeries and I developed the mindset early on that an injury is not simply a setback, but it can actually extend a career or add to the time required to reach your potential. I teach that failure is not the opposite of success, but a vital ingredient.  It is how you respond to those perceived failures that makes the difference.

  1. For a lot of folks, the most difficult part of training is motivating to get off the couch and get started. It’s a mental thing. How do you motivate, and/or what’s your advice to the average guy/girl out there to encourage them to get that work-out in, even when they’re not feeling motivated?

Don’t wait until you are ready.  The only way to create a positive habit is to make your thoughts actionable.  Dream goals are fun, but it is really the systematic attainment of short-term goals that gets you there.  What are you going to do today and tomorrow that will move you one step closer to your goal?

  1. As a premiere athlete, you probably could have based out of many communities. Why did you choose the Vail Valley?

The Vail Valley is a very special place.  My wife Ingrid and I moved out here 19 years ago so I could complete an internship to finish my undergraduate degree.  My college running career was left unfulfilled and I instantly fell in love with the mountains and activities of every season.  I feel very fortunate to have found such an active and supportive community to call home.  The mountains, the altitude, and the attitudes of the people proved to be the perfect environment for me.  My athletic career would not have been as long or as successful living anywhere else.

  1. The GMC Ultimate Mountain Challenge has 6 elements – which of those competitions are you MOST looking forward to?

The cool thing about the GMC Ultimate Mountain Challenge is that you are also going head-to-head with the best athletes in each discipline.  I find the cross country mountain bike race the most challenging partly because of the tough course, but also the level of competition is top notch.

Learn more about Josiah Middaugh at Middaugh Coaching is the official trainer of the GMC Ultimate Mountain Challenge at the 2019 GoPro Mountain Games. 

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