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Passion Quote of the Day

Susan Butcher

Champion Dog-Sled Racer

I do not know the word "quit." Either I never did, or I have somehow abolished it from my language. If you allowed it to enter your mind, I think during the worst times when you are so exhausted, and so cold, and the dogs may be getting tired towards the end of a four or five-hour run, you'd quit. You would. You have to see only that you are going into this specific race, whether it be a 300 or a 500 or 1,000-mile race, or individual training run. You are going to complete this. Then, if some force, such as the moose, becomes so great, it's going to be obvious that you should quit. So you can't think about "quit." I just don't think it even enters my mind. I am always so keyed up for the challenge, and not only in a racing situation where it would be quite obvious, because for the Iditarod I have trained for -- let alone many years -- an entire year for this race. Just because I got a little cold and tired would be a stupid reason to give up an entire year's work. But even moreso, I think the examples that show my lack of willingness to quit would be certain training runs. Runs where I may be out on a 500-mile trip, there is no reason why I have to make it from point A to point B. There is nothing driving me but my own desire to get there. And where I am getting isn't even an important thing to me. It somehow is just to have that challenge. I have been known to walk in front of my team for 55 miles with snowshoes to lead them through snowstorms in non-racing situations, where I could have just as easily radioed for a plane to come and get me. Instead, I will take the other way out. And it's certainly given my life incredible fulfillment.
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