This idea came from a question. What is your number #1 priority for 2024?
Gain XP! What is XP? In video games, XP is experience. XP is how to level up your video game avatar or character. As a kid, I played games like Golden Ax, Gauntlet, and Hero’s Quest where you picked a character at the start. There were 4 characters to choose from. A warrior, wizard, archer, or valkyrie. If you are reading this you might have selected the same character as I did, a trail runner. Maybe you slowly became this character over time, either way, your actions brought you here.
Certain adventures or quests are available once you have gained enough XP. There are many quests that you can choose from year after year as you level up. This year I plan to slay the 100 Miler monster. It’s not my first time slaying it, but each year the monster comes back, slightly stronger, with different abilities and methods of attack. The difference is I have gained intelligence, strength, speed, agility, and more skills than the year before.
What quest could you take in 2024 that would give you more XP? With games that level up your character, you can’t keep picking the same quests you’ve done previously. They will pay little to no XP, or gold as a reward. We have to take on bigger quests than before. We have to break out of the habits and routines we do year after year.
Part of what made these games great was taking on the quests TOGETHER. It was a shared experience with friends. Those make for not only the most rewarding challenges but also the most memorable. I have made lifelong friends during my trail adventures. Gaining XP by yourself is one thing, but sharing it with others is where the real magic comes in. That’s the formula for great games, experiences, and a great life. So for this year, I am setting my sights on XP, and hopefully bringing the “trail running” character I’ve selected to his highest level before he fights the end boss.
How do you defeat the 100 miler monster? It’s almost like the race knows your weaknesses and will use them against you! The trick is you have fought mini-versions of the boss in your training. These side quests were done during your training to become a warrior. You were fighting mini-boss battles that consisted of quests in the cold, rocky, wet, trails around your village you grew up. They were shorter quests, but similar to the end boss.
The 100-miler boss is extremely powerful. He can even turn your own body against you! You have tested the elixirs and potions you have created consisting of Tailwind and GUs. Once you get to the 100 miler boss fight, which normally comes around mile 70-80, you know his tricks. You know what he’ll throw at you. He might have a surprise attack you haven’t seen but you will defeat him.
You are going to war with at first the mini-bosses and then finally the 100-miler monster at the end. Who will win? Did you level up enough? Do you have enough XP to defeat the monster? If you have taken on all the side quests, and put in the time, you can slay that beast. Victory will be yours, for you are a warrior, and this epic quest along with all that glory waits at the finish line.
If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy “A Runner’s final race”. It’s a post where I try to imagine what happens to a runner the second they pass away. Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed it please consider sharing the story.
Some of the other images I created when making this post