“What I've written seems a little bit too neat, it feels a little sloppier on the inside”....Those were my words when I asked coach to look at my blog post before I posted it. And that really sums up how I feel about some awareness that’s coming around. I’ve never asked anyone to look at my blogs before I post them. I don’t want to change my words based on someone else’s opinion. I see blogs as thoughts, not right or wrong, but a demonstration of where one is at a given point in time. Getting feedback after I post helps me process through those thoughts and see them in different lights and from different angles, revealing to me new insights. But, sometimes I wonder how honest I am with myself when I write. Below is a mix of honesty and self talk. My thoughts and experiences below leave me feeling a bit out on a limb with my ego-remember Walter? There he is...
talking loudly. I started this blog last weekend while keeping up with the TNF 50 and it has evolved from there….
Hike or run, hike or run...after watching the TNF 50 unfold on twitter, between seeing patients, I was seeing pictures come through on the feed and I could feel the dirt, smell the air and feel my own heart pumping. Here in the photo on the left from IRF is winner Magdalena Boulet. I was dying to get my feet on trail and run! I’d been looking forward all week to getting on the trails again, it’s been over 5 weeks now. My body is still healing from recent surgery, and although I am enjoying the rest and recovery, at times I am overcome with the burning desire to get out and run! I also know that once I start training again, I’m going to reaaaally miss these easy days. An awareness has settled in as the past couple of months have unfolded. An awareness stepping back from, or out of my passion for a time, along with life events brought. It’s hard to have perspective in the midst of passion... be it passion in work, in running, or even in relationships.
I ended this season of racing with mixed emotions. I was able to get out and run in amazing places, testing the waters to see if I really liked mountain running...and oh do I ever! But, I was frustrated with outcomes, my finishing times/placing. That’s not what I wanted my racing to be about. I would never have admitted it, but my racing was as much about the finish line as about the experience, and my self worth was dependent on how well I finished. I was embarrassed that I didn’t do as well as I thought I should in the series. I felt I had disappointed myself, my family, my coach. I shoulda done better.
The whirlwind of this summer’s racing, in particular the fact that my self worth was so tied up in my performance and finish time, the loss of my mother-in-law to aggressive cancer, and my own close encounter with the potentially lethal diagnosis and current post op complications that have the serious potential of keeping me from running even longer.….breath...and a move to Arizona in just a few weeks has made the past few months, well, interesting. It has also shaken me down a bit emotionally. There is something good and almost magical churning inside of me through this. When I found myself in a place with so many things stacked up, where I couldn’t possibly process through or control the outcomes (the absurd delusion of control)...I let go...whoosh...and felt what it was like to live in the moment. This led me to the absolute opposite of what I anticipated....peace. I became fully present in the present, in the moment. An amazing place no one could sweet talk me in to. No urging or cajoling me to "let go and live in the now" could have brought me here. Combine that with a true realization of where my drive to “know” comes from...
Hmmm….self esteem....3 months ago I would have scoffed if you suggested I had low self esteem. I would have touted, “look what I have done!” ….and on the inside be ashamed. My self worth was tied up in my accomplishments, or lack thereof..in running and life. And the unfortunate thing is no accomplishment was good enough. I could have always been faster or somehow pushed harder in a race here or there, and in life, well, smarter, wittier, prettier and the list goes on and on.
This peace, this in-the-moment peace was a place, a feeling I first found in the mountains of Colorado. Surrounded by the magnificence, thin air, and beauty that surrounded me. And even more intensely, running in the mountains seemed to bring me more fully present and aware. Like a drug I was addicted. I thought I was addicted to the Mountains, to that physical place. It is now, 3 years later, In a whirlwind of uncertainty, I understand it was not the physical place that called me, it was that place inside of me that called. But can I continue in that place if I can’t run? I would love to be able to say “yes of course”, but I don’t know...heh, and I can’t know.
As it says in the photo below, "Life begins at the end of your comfort zone"