Anton Krupicka is a mid-twenties graduate student with a passion for music, friends, mountain sports, and logging 150-170 miles a week on the trails surrounding Boulder Colorado. After reading the book Born to Run by Christopher McDougall I developed an interest in ultra-marathon running culture, which led me to Krupicka’s website. I’ve been following his blog (Riding the Wind) off and on for quite some time now and the overriding theme it espouses, I think is very relevant to sport and performance.

On the trail and in life, Krupicka’s philosophy is based on increased fulfillment via simplicity. He won’t be seen out running, gps and bio feedback monitors in tow, with headphones jammed in his ears, clunky tennis shoes strapped to his feet, or for that matter even wearing a shirt, weather permitting. Skimping on the essentials of a multi-hour run, i.e. food and water, is something he is occasionally accused of, though he has yet to have any correlated issues.

Krupicka explains that the largest part of his motivation to run is in “doing” rather than end goal “achievement.” Therefore he takes only what he must have in order to enjoy all aspects of his runs through the wilderness. His minimalist inspired footwear and sometimes completely bare feet afford him the tactile sensation of his connection to the ground. Ears unimpeded, he wholly takes in his sonic environment. Without any gadgets, his mind is free to meditate and stay in tuned with the natural feedback of his body. The purity of the experience is fully tapped into leading to the real passion and motivation that drives someone to run distances that most would consider obscene.

I think in any sport we sometimes lose touch with the underlying reason we participate. We begin to fetishize over the hollow accessories involved, material and emotional, to the decrement of what is truly important. It’s about the enjoyment that comes from “doing”, the process, the pushing of physical and mental boundaries. The first text on Krupicka’s blog reads:

The ideal in the Lieh-Tzu is a state, not of withdrawal, but of heightened perceptiveness and responsiveness in an undifferentiated world. My mind concentrated and my body relaxed, bones and flesh fused completely, I drifted with the wind East or West, like a leaf from a tree or a dry husk, and never knew whether it was the wind that rode me or I that rode the wind.

The Book of Lieh-Tzu