Yes, it is quite possible I have gone completely off the deep end but if you are willing to follow me, it should be entertaining at least! I thought about waiting to blog about Walter until I completely understand where I’m going with this, but writing helps me understand, so maybe we’ll figure this out together as we go. Let me give you a little background. If you’ve been following along you know I am doing the US Skyrunning Ultra series: Cruel Jewel in May, Speedgoat and La Maratona in July, Angels Staircase in August, The Rut in September, and Flagstaff endurance run in October. As I am getting everything arranged it is becoming very “real”. Each race has 13,000-17,000 feet of vertical gain over 50k-55mi course. The most vertical I have ever done was at Leadville, 18,000 feet over 100 miles. Squish a little less than that gain into 55 miles and you have Cruel Jewel.

This series is my cool impossible, and it is huge and scary, but I want it and I smile every time I think about it...and then fears crop up….Will my legs really do this? You live in have one hill that is 4 miles long and 2000 ft high….a hill. And Oklahoma sits at about 400ft above sea level. All but one race is at altitude. Look at your mountain races you’ve done….yeah, you finished, but you just survived them….what makes the fears more intense is that I know I want more than to survive these races….I want to race them, I want to do well, dare I say I want to finish in the top 5 in my age bracket! Now that’s just nuts, but I want going for it.  I don’t want fear to limit me. I don’t want to care about the actual result, but the “going for it” part. Unless I can let go of the fear of failing, I can’t fully go for it. And if I can fully “go for it” in training and racing, then the result no longer matters. Ha! if only it were that easy! All of these fears and doubts have been internal. When they crop up they envelop me.  Sometimes I can use the visualization of thoughts and fears dangling from the ceiling and I get to choose which ones I want to take hold of, or just acknowledge and go on. But when those thoughts are more feelings, and in particular when they occur when I’m running/training they seem to come so from within that I can’t shake loose or “choose” what to do with them.

The suggestion came that maybe I should consider giving these fears or this voice in my head that expresses these fears a funny name.  Hmm...A name for my fears. Enter Walter...let me explain...Jeff Dunham is a comedian/ventriloquist. Walter is one of his characters. He's a sour faced old man, critical of everything and sarcastic as hell. In a way, he is part of the comedian which reminds me of the fears being a part of me but separate too. I see him when those fears pop up. I can hear his voice, “what makes you think you can do this?”, “you seem to be breathing hard, this hill shouldn’t be that hard for you should it?”

So yesterday I had a 12 mi trail run...and lo and behold I ran into Walter.  On a long slow slight uphill I could literally see walter. His wrinkled face questioning me...and scouling, "this hill isn't as easy as you thought, it would be, you are only in low zone 3, why isn't this easier for you?". Before I realized what was happening I laughed and told him, "because it's a hill, you idiot!" Walter disappeared, and I immediately felt light and happy again, pleased and relaxed, thinking how ridiculous this old man questioning me sounded. And then I realized that was the first time I had ever separated those negative feelings from me...saw them for what they really were and saw how silly and tiny and powerless they were. I think I like having walter around. I have no idea if I'm crazy or on to something. I am definitely in uncharted territory with my mind.

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Comment by Lori Enlow on April 1, 2014 at 9:51am

Oh, I love that Robert!

Comment by Robert Burpee on March 31, 2014 at 10:27pm

I saw this Lori and thought of you and Walter

Comment by Karen Savage on March 25, 2014 at 11:06pm

Love it - will definitely "borrow" Walter occasionally!

Comment by Rich Warne on March 22, 2014 at 5:01am
Love it Lori! But what I really love is that not only do you want to do these races, but you also want to finish well! Go for it
Comment by Lori Enlow on March 20, 2014 at 6:13am
I love the imagery Robert. I have a very vivid imagination as you can see! WI'll definitely play around with that, it sounds very relaxing and I can't imagine it being anything but good. Thank you for your genuineness and ingeniousness!
Comment by Robert Burpee on March 20, 2014 at 4:23am

Lori your one of the sanest people I know, well know of, as David said I only know you through this place, your bolgs, photo's and discussions. (Then again going out for a run at 4am when its -20 deg is a bit insane)

Not wanting to confuse you now that you have found Walter, but can you please bare with me.

Lori after you read this I want you to do as I describe.

Go somewhere you can relax & feel comfortable, where that is is up to you, you could be lying, sitting or even standing. Once comfortable close your eye's and imagin a room, your room, it's colour, decor, design is all your doing, it's your place. The only things you need are a full length mirror, a large box and handle which sits on the wall some where. The size, shape, colour, decorations of the room and on the box is all up to you. But Make It Yours, Own It.

Now this is your safe place, everything is as it should be, as you want it to be. Every time you enter your room look at yourself in the full length mirror, you see yourself as you want to be and only as you want to be, fit, strong, happy, limitless, successful, free of negitivity, what ever it is, again its your's and only your mirror and you only see yourself as you want to be. Now the box, what ever fears, doubts, troubles or negitive thoughts you may have put into the box, they can be as simple orcomplex, as short or long as you wish. Visualise yourself doing this clearly and purposely, then once all your issues are securely in the box close the lid tightly. You know that leaver I was speaking of earlier, well when you pull that, the roof of your room opens up to the beautiful Blue sky and the box full of the things and thoughts you don't want will rise up out of your room and be gone forever. As the roof closes you can linger in your room or you can leave and as you leave you pass your mirror, again seeing yourself in the mirror, seeing yourself as you want to be.

Now don't worry the next time you go to your room, go to your place there will be a new box waiting for you to use if you need it so you can use the box as often as you like.

I hope this doesn't sound too corny but this visulisation can work if you embrace it, as our negitive thought are just that, ours, so we can rid ourselves of them as easily as they manifest themselves in our heads.

Upward and Onward, go for it Lori

Comment by Lori Enlow on March 19, 2014 at 4:41pm
Thank you david, and I think you are spot on. I now know and understand what I fear.
Comment by David Tepper on March 19, 2014 at 4:12pm

Please note as I dont know you (apart from reading on here) I make theses remarks lightly so please I mean no offence :)

I believe that a lot of the time for people, fear is the unknown.... now you have worked it out.... now you know, now you have built an entity and now you can face this adversity... no more unknown, no more shadows and mists and wilderbeasts

Just my thoughts :) but id say it sounds to me like you now Know you can do it.  Belief in ourselves is paramount, we can be inspired but we are the only ones that can do it.

Go Lori

Comment by Lori Enlow on March 19, 2014 at 12:42pm
Comment by Eric Orton on March 19, 2014 at 12:41pm

Just think, now that we have created Walter - he gets to do all the work and you get to run free!

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