“I decided to truly embrace this mantra, this mantra of the Wicked Trail, after I bought my husband one of your hats and saw how much he loved it. I wanted to be the inspiration for a renewal of his interest in fitness. Well, your hat beat me to it. Embracing his own culture was exactly what he needed to dive into not just healthy living, but living for challenge. The first time he wore it to the gym, he came back sweating and smiling, talking about how he felt so different. This hat literally changed his mindset. With ‘Be Your Own Culture’ on his head, he decided to reject the basic exercises his friends always did –biceps and chest, I’m sure– and get uncomfortable. He lifted weights and then spent a long time on the row machine. I fear you may have him (and me!) signing up for an ultra marathon soon. We challenged each other to start running again! Thanks for the hat and keep up the good work, Wicked Trail!”

Welcome to the Wicked Trail.

When a person embraces mediocrity and settles into a complacent existence, he or she admits an unpreparedness for life and an unwillingness to reach the highest fulfillment of his or her time on Earth. This person lives in the culture of the common. Men and women, stunted by a victim mentality, who watch success and fulfillment from afar, wondering why life left them behind.

This might be you.

The ‘culture of the common’ is a complex organism. It is rooted in the mass-marketing of comfort and opinion.

It feeds on these two intangibles, comfort and opinion.

Why are obesity and “body positivity” such hot topics right now?

Why is impatience accepted as ordinary and why has the easy way become the right way?

Why do people get caught up in monotony, working unfulfilling jobs for an eventual death?

Where is their energy, their excitement for a new day?

Be like this. Act like this. Listen to this. Eat this, drink that. Align with us.

These people, your friends, coworkers, and family, have bought in. They see the success of strangers and feel the radiating opinions of others; they feel stress and taste adversity and seek to balance it with comfort.

Opinions and comfort.

The culture of the Wicked Trail isn’t tangible.

It isn’t discernible to strangers.

People won’t see the way you dress or what you eat or the music you listen to and say “His culture is that of the Wicked Trail!” the way someone might look at an artist or performer or student or person of faith and identify his or her culture.

I speak of a culture of your mind.

To which culture do you adhere? Do you align with others and exist in the monotonous dread of daily life? Do you pursue comfort and obsess over opinion?

Or do you seek the Wicked Trail?

Be Your Own Culture” is the relentless pursuit of the uncommon; it is a rejection of the standards and norms established by a culture that mass-markets comfort and opinion. Complacency and Mediocrity, the thrones of the common men and women, we burn down. Be Your Own Culture is the mindset that nothing is certain except death and our own ability to be whatever we want to be in relation to this death.

Those sitting on the thrones of Complacency and Mediocrity have no say.

They will bask in comfort, the great lie, and die as cowards.

It is detrimental to society that people do not look forward in their lives with goals and vision and adventure. Without the constant pursuit and contemplation of what we might miss, an opportunity to escape the norm and create adventure, we will certainly miss it.

Adhere to the Wicked Trail; decide today, for yourself and for others, to throw off the shackles of comfort and opinions. Abandon expectations, what others think is ‘realistic,’ and live life on your terms, at a highly fulfilled level.

 Start today with these 5 Ways to be Your Own Culture:

1. Abandon Opinion

We live in a culture, the culture of the common, focused on visual. How people look, how people’s belongings appear, and what accolades people possess. Ditch these ideas in your life. Another person, one who does not see your vision, no longer has a say in your action and appearance. It does not matter. When does this come in handy? Show up to work sweaty, with messy hair, because you decided to sell your car and bike to work. Cut possessions out of your life and abandon the build-up of clothing; it’s okay to wear the same clothes twice in a week. Hold off on college; just because others say you should doesn’t mean you must. If your heart isn’t there, pursue a passion of yours in its place. ABANDON OPINION.

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2. Explore Values and Beliefs

Your “Why?” is the only chance you have to break free from the constraints of culture, the culture of mediocrity. Why do you wake up in the morning? What makes you sweat, sends chills down your spine, and brings tears to your eyes? What could you talk about all day? This thing, your “Why?”, is the root of your values and beliefs. Identify it and grab onto it.

3. Identify Cultural Crutches

Cultural crutches are comforts integrated into your life by means of cultural normalcy. These comforts conflict with your values and beliefs, and consequentially your “Why?” Car payments, social outings, alcohol. What do you do to ‘fit in?’ What habits or practices do you engage in merely for appearance or opinion? Not everyone has comforts they lean on that contradict their “Why?” but those who do often have trouble identifying them. Write down your “Why?” and it becomes much easier. If it’s not progressing you toward your “Why?” consider eradicating it.

4. Pursue the Passion

Your “Why?” identified and rooted in your values and beliefs, cultural crutches abandoned along with opinion, your mind is primed and your environment is right for a revolution of thought. Actionable steps must be formulated by a mind free from opinion and crutch and intertwined with the “Why?” The time for action is at hand.

5. Immerse

Immersion in your “Why?” is the final step to Be Your Own Culture. Upon waking and before going to bed, at every meal and with every social outing, let your “Why?” burn bright. Others don’t have to see it; they don’t have to know about it or understand it. But it’s there. There is something slightly off about your demeanor, the way you carry yourself. Speak with action; speak in the shadows when nobody is around. Immerse yourself in the culture of discomfort, of the pursuit of excellence, of your “Why?”

Pursue excellence in mind, body, and spirit. No, not comfort and contentment. Excellence. Be uncommon. Culture tells us to eat for pleasure, spend liberally, and gather mortal items. Find an easier way, look to others for the answer, stay within the lines. Exercise for ‘happiness’ in self-image (why this is toxic), find balance in your life, slow down with age, fit in and align with others.

What’s your response?

Will you fit in and align?

Our answer is this: Find A Wicked Freakin’ Trail 🌲

👊BE YOUR OWN CULTURE👊

Quality BOCO trucker that looks as good as it feels on. Comfy, breathes well, and is worth the money. Love the mantra and colors! Will be sporting it this weekend at my trail 50K! Lis, Virginia. 2018 Grindstone 100 Finisher

Big fan of this hat! I’ve run about 40 miles in it since getting it and it smells fresh as a daisy, and looks good too. I appreciate its message and enjoy that it raises some eyebrows out and about. Will need to pick up the other one! Also I have a big head and this was plenty comfortable! Melissa, North Carolina. First Ultra: March, 2019

Nothing bad here. Picked up this hat and couldn’t be happier. Great quality and fit. The message is such great motivation and helps to remind me why I do what I do! Aaron, Oregon. Next Challenge: Badger Mountain 100 miler

Be Your Own Culture

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Book of the Month:

Can't Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds is a dive into the demons that plagued David Goggins -elite ultra endurance athlete and Navy SEAL- through his early life and an exploration of what it took for him to become a master of his own mind against all statistical odds. His tools for mental stimulation and growth are useful for anyone interested in venturing into endurance sports, becoming a better person, and mastering his or her mind. A must read!

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Most people running their first, or second, or third ultra marathon carry expectations into the race. They had training expectations; they planned the miles and hours they'd have to train, running and strengthening and stretching their way to ultra endurance. When...

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I was perusing some online ultramarathon running groups last weekend and came across a post about DNFs in ultrarunning. DNF stands for "Did Not Finish;" the participants name is not published and no belt buckle is awarded. The DNF is dreaded by many as hot-spots and...

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