My attempt at being highly appropriate.
Wow. It certainly has been a crazy year. Looking back and trying to process it all is damn near impossible – but the good news is that I’m not even sure that’s entirely necessary. Because now when I remember, I smile. Hours of dissecting words turn to one poignant moment and I am inspired.
These are those moments. Formerly described by wordy, two-beer posts – now limited to 1-2 grammatically correct sentences.
I know that simply finishing is more important than winning could ever be, and I vow to never lose that focus.
Sometimes, no matter how prepared and strong you are, it is simply not your day and there don’t have to be any reasons. And on these days I enjoy the suffering.
GRAND CANYON R2R2R
Pushing up the Bright Angel switchbacks up to Indian Garden, I discovered a new gear and officially decided I would never say “I suck at climbing again.” Because I don’t.
Running alongside Gabi as she pushed through her darkest moments allowed me to view myself in one insanely beautiful out of body experience. Her strength was an inspiration.
The amount of love in my heart is terrifying. Also, I got next…
ADVENTURES IN COLORADO
There are things in life I simply cannot control, nor do I want to. But I can always control my ability to pick up and go on insanely beautiful, awesome, challenging, amazing adventures, and for that I am eternally grateful.
COMPLETING THE FULL BACKBONE TRAIL
It’s not about the races, the competition, the controlled environments. This day and these flashes of solitude, gratitude and utter peace is why I run.
When you are emotionally void and broken, you would be a fool not to expect that to carry over into other activities. Even running. And guess what? That’s life.
I pushed my body harder than I ever have and red-lined on the limits until it broke. For that, there is nothing to be ashamed.
This was the day and the moment that I finally let go. I’ll never forget it.
Yes, this year was riddled with setbacks, injury, heartache and struggle. But this is all overshined by experiences and moments that I will never forget. Finally crossing the finish line with every one of my friends at RR100 after a truly epic battle. Almost sliding to my death off Baldy and being rewarded for living with probably the best sunrise I can remember (and I’ve seen quite a few). Driving, singing, talking, laughing. Running the last mile of Badwater with Dom and being utterly consumed by emotion as he crossed the finish line. Running and sliding down a glacier. Rebuilding the fire ravaged Angeles Crest course. Living. Loving. Beers on the North Rim. Swimming under waterfalls. Dancing. Climbing higher than I’ve ever climbed. Running harder than I’ve ever run. Discovering a deep-rooted unshakable strength that in one moment threatens to destroy me, and in another makes possible a world of experiences with the purest of mind and heart. Watching Gordy complete his hard earned lap at Placer High with tears streaming down my face. Hugging my brother when he returned to American soil. Falling in love all over again. The field of wildflowers in Death Valley. Kissing Ann Trason’s 1994 cougar. My dad carrying me back to the 68 mile aid station with tears in his eyes. Blissful moments of weightlessness. Photos. Videos. Concerts. Hugs. Finally quitting my job. Friends. Each sunrise. Every sunset. New trails. Old trails. Life.
In short: the hard stuff was worth it. Another year has gone by and I’m stronger still. I know myself better. And I like myself more.
And now for the good stuff. Looking forward. I don’t think I’ve ever been this excited heading into a year of racing ever. I believe that is largely due to my plans. Have I set lofty goals? Yes. Do I plan to run myself into the ground trying to achieve them? Absolutely. Is this smart? Who the hell knows. What I can say is this…
I finally am in a position where I can work a normal 8-5 job and that’s it. No extra gigs and the free time is mine. I can afford to eat well and race. While life isn’t perfect, I am very happy. So the time to “go there” is now…
My goal race for 2011 will be Angeles Crest 100 in July. Beginning January 1st, I have vowed to dedicate myself wholly and fully to training in pursuit of beginning to actualize my potential at mountain running. Weekdays will be filled with training before and after work. I will do core work at least 2 days a week and ballet/stretch at the very minimum one night for an hour and a half. Weekends will involve camping in the San Gabriels and running morning noon and night on every inch of the course. I will climb mountains every day.
Leading up to AC, I’m looking forward to running Coyote 2 Moons 100k on my birthday weekend, posting a decent time at the Boston Marathon and hopefully tackling this awesome 40 mile Wrightwood-Baldy run dreamed up at the SMM 50k with Sarah from PCTR. Other than that, I’ll be helping Dom at Miwok and that’s it. No more races – just consistent training. The only time I’ll semi-taper is for Boston, maybe 5 days. The goal is AC and I aim to find out what I’m really made of.
A Happy New Year it shall be…