APU recently had the honor of a visit from 3 time Iditarod champion musher Dallas Seavey! He spoke to a crowd of current and prospective students at the recent APU open house event about mushing and the Iditarod, while imparting wisdom and life lessons along the way.
The youngest champion in the legendary sled dog race’s history, as well as the current Iditarod record holder, Dallas Seavey understands the importance of dedication, and of pursuing dreams no matter what the obstacles may be. The first time he raced in the Iditarod he set the goal to be the youngest winner. In a race that often takes years of experience, this goal was very ambitious.
Despite those who said he couldn’t, he persevered. Seavey advised students pursuing their academic goals to pursue them with similar dedication. Every choice, he encouraged the students, must lead to your goal.
The key to success is innovative thinking and a willingness to sacrifice, according to Seavey. In order to accomplish his goals, he had to think creatively. He bought his dogs from other mushers, meaning that they were all dogs other mushers were willing to sell because they didn’t think the dogs had Iditarod potential. By breaking mushing down to its fundamentals, considering each dog’s unique personality, and building trust with the athletes on his team, he was able to build a winning strategy.
In addition to sharing stories and tips for success, Seavey also introduced APU students and prospective students to one of his champion lead dogs, Beatle. He brought gear and a dog sled as well, and stayed for a while after his presentation answering questions about mushing and the Iditarod.
Although only a few members of the APU community compete in mushing competitions, the life lessons Seavey imparted to students about dedication, perseverance, and innovation are useful to all.