Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Adulting. And other things I have yet to master.

Today I got mad at the blender and threw it away. I was attempting to make a smoothie but apparently all the appliances in this house whose job descriptions include crushing ice were on strike. So I was all like "blender, you had one job..." and threw it away. Then there was a knock on the door and it was Danielle bringing me thank you sunflowers (because she is the absolute best!). I put the flowers in a Nalgene bottle because I couldn't find a vase. Probably because I had given them all away last year so I wouldn't have to move them from my old house to our new house. And because when I get upset, getting rid of "stuff" makes me feel better.

I don't like disliking things. I don't like having mean emotions. I just want all warm fuzzies and no cold pricklies. But life is not like that. Sometimes things are frustrating and it can be hard to know what the right thing to do is. I want to be one of those people who always knows the right things to say and do, who comes in and makes everything better. But I'm not that person. I'm not good at taking care of people. I'm good at adventuring and playing outside and finding everything funny. But those are not good "in case of emergency" skills. And then I felt guilty for being out of town when something bad happened and someone needed my help. Even though I changed my plans and came home early, it didn't seem like enough. It didn't seem like I was handling things in the best way. I couldn't even figure out what the best way was.

So I did the best I could in that moment. And I felt the uncomfortable feelings, because sometimes that's all you can do. And then later I threw away the blender, because taking out the bad feels on an inanimate object seemed like a better option than letting them pile up until they inadvertently got taken out on someone else.

Some days it's hard not to feel like I'm failing at everything, like I'm always going to be the wrong sort of person in the world. But then there's a knock at the door and a friend shows up and makes me feel like the luckiest. And I just want to live up to the awesomeness of the people surrounding me.

Lyric of the moment: "When something's broke, I wanna put a little fixin' on it. If something's bored, I wanna put a little excited on it. If something's low, I wanna put a little high on it. If something's lost, I wanna fight to get it back again..." ~Pearl Jam "The Fixer"

Thursday, August 18, 2016

This Is Marriage: Day 347

Pete asked me "Do you think this separation is helping us grow closer and our relationship stronger?" Yes and no and it's complicated. I would not recommend deployment as a main ingredient in a happy marriage. The physical separation is hard. It just really, really sucks. But I think we are definitely stronger, though probably that has more to do with our attitude towards the situation than the situation itself. Challenges can make us stronger if we look at them as opportunities instead of obstacles, if we focus on gratitude instead of griping. Would we have wished to go through this? Hell no. But we chose each other. I chose this hot slice of man beef and he happened to come with a side of Navy. And the Navy chose to deploy him to Afghanistan this year. That is life. Sometimes things happen that are out of our control. So we can complain about it, which is pointless. Or we can get on board and make the best of it. We are get on board kind of people.

I've been thinking about something G said at Fit1 yesterday morning. He had me do a new ab move I hadn't done before and I said "oof that's hard," to which he replied "We do hard things." He said it so nonchalantly but also encouragingly, his point being it's hard but you can do it, you do hard things all the time. Yeah we do, I thought. And that makes all the difference. In everything. Ever.

I think one of the reasons Pete and I are so happy together is that we have similar attitudes towards life. We don't avoid the hard things. We don't take life, or ourselves, too seriously. We take risks. We set goals and work to achieve them, whether it's training for a race or saving for early retirement. We had our own awesome lives before we met and then we combined them to build an even more awesome and adventurous life together. Pete asked me to be his girlfriend during a half marathon road race and to be his wife after a 3 day, 40+ mile trail run in Oregon. We've had good days and bad days. We've laughed about both. We've crossed many finish lines hand in hand.

This year we are doing hard things individually. Well, Pete is doing hard things. He just earned the Enlisted Expeditionary Warfare Pin. He's going through the process of becoming a Chief Petty Officer. I, on the other hand, am just doing a lot of running, strength training and being ridiculous, things that are more playing hard than working hard. But even though we are far apart, we are doing the hard things together, supporting each other, making each other laugh. On happy days. On sad, stressed out days. All the days we get.

Marriage is doing hard things, hand in hand.

Lyric of the moment: "Our words are strong and our hearts are kind. Let me tell you just exactly what's on my mind. You are the best thing, you are the best thing, you are the best thing, ever happened to me..." ~Ray LaMontagne "You Are The Best Thing"

Monday, August 15, 2016

I am running

It's 5am and I'm out the door. I am running. The little aches and pains I felt when I woke up are gone. Everything is beautiful and nothing hurts.

I am not running against anyone else. I am not running against the clock. I am not even running against myself. I don't do that anymore.

I am running with Rihanna and Nirvana, Queen and Sir Mix A Lot, and Old Dirty Bastard. I am laughing. I don't think I have ever laughed so hard on a run. I am listening to Steven's iPod, which as it turns out, is a combination of every running playlist I have ever made. I am laughing at the lyrics and at the memories the songs evoke. Nelly Furtado's "Promiscuous Girl" comes on and I remember signing this song with Pete in the car on our way to the Adirondacks last year. I am still smiling but now also a bit teary eyed.

I am stopped abruptly at an intersection so as to avoid colliding with a turning car whose driver is oblivious to my presence. This does not make me feel annoyed or unsafe. It makes me feel like a ninja.

I am running through the sunrise, through the streets, through the doubts.

I am running because I love it. Because it's my favorite way to start the day. Because my favorite way to experience life is exploring it on my own two feet.

I am not running away. I am running towards. Towards the happiest, most awesome version of myself. Towards home. This year home is a date in November, the date when Pete returns. Towards that moment in every stride when both feet are off the ground and I am airborne.

I am running.

For a brief moment I am flying.

Lyric of the moment: "The quicker you here, the faster you go. That's why where I come from the only thing we know is work hard, play hard, work hard, play hard..." ~Wiz Khalifa "Work Hard Play Hard"

Friday, August 12, 2016

Assorted Awesome Sauce

Semi-weekly gratitude list/word hugs/moments of awesomeness:
  • My adult life is much like my childhood, only instead of going to knock on friends' doors to ask if they can come out and play, it's virtual knocking. And we "go out to play" at 5am. It is awesome having so many "yes" friends who are up for adventures at all hours. Tuesday I ran to Ellison and met Alison and Steven for a trail run at 5:30am. Wednesday, Jen(n)s took over 5am Fit1. Thursday, I met Chris on Blossom at 5:30am for a road run. Friday, Danielle and I ran the Crescent trail at 5am. So many awesome ways to start the days!
Jen(n)s take over Corn Hill, with help from Gustavo.
(No bricks were harmed during this takeover.)

  • I think this is the year of the almost-overly-helpful strangers. Maybe I look tired or dazed or confused from all the middle-of-the-night running I've done this year, but it seems like strangers are going out of their way to help me. I was carrying a bunch of stuff in Wegmans and this woman asked if I need help, I said "No thanks, I'm ok" and she was like "Oh honey, take my cart," gave me her cart, the took the stuff out of my hands and put in in the cart. Before MM99 I went to Starbucks to pick up a traveler box of iced coffee for our team. As I was carrying it and the cups, etc out of the store, some dude jumped up from across the store, ran over and opened the door for me, then another dude ran over from the other side of the parking lot and opened my car door. It was very weird (but also awesome), like being followed by a secret service of very helpful strangers.

  • The orthodontist asked if there was anything else I wanted them to adjust and I said I just wanted them to fix the space between two of my teeth. He's like "Oh yeah, no problem, that will close up in a couple of days." The VERY NEXT morning, I woke up and the space was gone. These metal torture devices hurt like hell but they sure are efficient. Also, I may be getting the top braces off in September!!! The end (of my weird, lingual-braces-induced lisp) is in sight!

  • This. Totally:

  • After this morning's run, I found a bug in my hair and freaked out. Until I realized it was too big to be a tick. Then I felt relieved. And that it was dead. Then I felt sad. A lot of emotions/possible unintentional murder happening in that shower.

  • SUSHI BURRITOS! And the beginning of Friends Who Lunch Fridays! Good food, good friends, good times. I'm pretty sure the secret to life is this: 1) Think of things you want to do (anything from running around in circles in the dark to eating a thing you read about on the internet). 2) Talk about the things until people volunteer to join you. 3) Do the things. 4) *Explosion Of Awesomeness*

Lyric of the moment: "Oh, an incurable humanist you are..." ~Regina Spektor "Loveology"

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Mighty Mosquito 99 Mile Relay

The dream team of Steven, Alison, Brooke, Bob, John and I reunited this year for another SWAT at the TrailsRoc Mighty Mosquito 99 Mile Relay. Our mission: 6 runners, starting at noon, each run three different 5.5ish mile loops at Mendon Ponds Park, to complete the 99 mile course. This year we came prepared to have a blast and showcase our asses, errr I mean, assets in toucan shorts, SWAT Team Jerseys and Beast Mode socks.
6 cans in Toucan. Thanks to Prem for documenting this ridiculousness on film!
Friday night Alison hosted a team dinner/corn hole/hula hooping/euchre night. Laughter and ice cream/cookies were plentiful. The performance enhancing benefits of GatorBull and bacon-wrapped brownies were discussed.

I went home with a heart full of love, stomach full of carbs and head full of doubts. I have been frustrated with my body's recovery from its first 50+ mile run two weeks ago. The gratitude and amazement I felt at being pain-free the day after and being able to run again 2 days after my longest ever run was being overshadowed by my disappointment in having heavy legs with no pick-up left and horror at looking like the Pillsbury Dough Boy in every running photo. I woke up Saturday morning in a cloud of negativity, afraid of letting my team down with my extreme slowness and dispirited by Pete's continued absence (some days his deployment feels interminable). I knew I was being a jerk and I hate being a jerk. So I cried in the shower to let everything out and then I was like don't be a jerk, brain. In any situation, some people will find reasons to be unhappy and some people will find reasons to be happy. Choose happiness

I put on my toucan shorts, packed GUS full of air mattress, drinks, snacks and clothes and headed to Mendon Ponds, where Steven was setting up our camp/headquarters/pop-up tent. Surrounded by the woods and friends, my spirits soared. Story of my life. 


The 3 solo runners had started at 6am and the relay started at 12pm. Steven and Alison got us off to a super speedy start, then it was my turn. The first loop, marked with blue flags, was hot and sunny, a mix of steep hills and grassy fields. I was nervous about my speed, or lack thereof, and also about getting lost, so I was super focused on following the flags. The course was very well marked. It's just that my spacial and directional intelligence is crap. I never know where I am or where I'm going, though somehow I always end up in the right place at the right time. Today was no exception. I jumped over a log and almost missed a sharp turn uphill, but another runner had caught up to me at just the right time and saved me from going the wrong way. Story of my life. We chatted a bit as we leapfrogged back and forth. He crushed me on every downhill and then I'd catch back up again on all the uphills. This happens to me in so many races. (I really, really need to get better at downhills. It's partly a lack of skills thing, but mostly a fear thing. I am afraid of faceplanting. But oddly, only in the literal sense. I have managed to overcome my fear of the figurative faceplant. I can tear through life and love with reckless abandon. I just can't do it on the trail.) I passed him again on the last uphill, then took off since I knew I only had about half a mile left. After we finished, he joked that if a runner saves you from going the wrong way, the least you can do is let them beat you. People are the best. 

After running the first leg, I had a slight headache so I made sure to drink plenty of water and coconut water while waiting for my next turn. Brooke, Bob and John crushed their first loops, Steven and Alison rocked their second loops and before I knew it, I was on deck again. Everyone was so fast that I got to run my second loop while it was still light out. Loop two was marked with orange flags and was fast and flat. It was just what I needed. I finally felt like I was getting some pep back in my step and it felt great. I was happy to find that, although the loops were different from last year, they kept my very favorite part, which was running across the big log during the second loop. I ran this loop mostly by myself and it was really quite lovely. While Brooke, Bob and John ran loop two and Steven and Alison ran loop three, I ate snacks, hung out with the crew and tried to get a bit of sleep.

I was nervous for the third loop, which was in the dark. I've had a lot of experience with nighttime running this year so I wasn't worried about that. I just didn't want to get lost in the dark alone or fall down. I told myself not to worry about pace, just focus on following the flags and not tripping on anything. Loop three, marked with yellow flags, was a nice mix of single track, rolling hills and a few scrambly bits. This loop was my slowest of the three, but I still managed to finish in an hour and I had fun scrambling up the steep, rocky sections (Thanks Mertsock!). 

After my last loop, I changed clothes, hung out for a bit and then went with Sonia, Steven and Brooke to volunteer at the road crossing for the yellow loop. When our volunteer shift was over at 6am, we packed up and headed home to shower and sleep. We were so tired that we unanimously voted to abandon our plans for a team breakfast. And so concluded another wonderful but exhausting weekend in the woods. 

Admiring our assets

All The Thanks:

To TrailsRoc for continuing to bring so much awesomeness into my life. Whatever is going on in my life/head when I arrive at these events, I always leave having been changed for the better.

To my SWAT Team for another year of shenanigans and good times with good friends. My life is so much happier, funnier and more awesome with you in it. Thanks for indulging my love of ridiculous, inappropriate fashion and being such good sports about the short shorts.

To Jim, for being an amazing team volunteer, bringing us handheld lights and delicious homemade cookies.

To SPC-1 Skeeter Patrol for epitomizing what it means to be a team. They were down 2 runners but the 4 of them divided up all the extra legs and totally brought the awesome. Jenn, Prem, Todd and Rob (and Sonia, volunteer extraordinaire!) you are the very definition of hardcore!

This is all I need in life, people and adventures. This is how I want to spend whatever time I get to be alive. With these people. Doing these things. Running, laughing, being together and being awesome.

If you've got 99 problems, sometimes all you need is 5 friends and toucan do anything.

Lyric of the moment: "What do I do when my love is away? (Does it worry you to be alone?) How do I feel by the end of the day? (Are you sad because you're on your own?) No, I get by with a little help from my friends. I get high with a little help from my friends. I'm gonna try with a little help from my friends..." ~The Beatles "With A Little Help From My Friends"

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

This Is Marriage: Day 331

Pete is telling me about his day. It's 10:00pm his time. He has been working since 6:30am. He is trying to balance his 12 hour-a-day job with studying for/completing the exams for his Expeditionary Warfare Pin with studying for/completing the requirements for the Chief initiation process. I know he will succeed at all those things. He will make a plan and he will execute it. That is what he does. That is the man I married.

He sends me a picture of the Warfare pin. It has a ship, a sword and a gun on it. It says EXPEDITIONARY in capital letters. It looks fancy. I mean, a gun and a sword? And a ship? That is a lot of things. If you had all those things you would be well prepared to face any pirate attacks that might occur within your vicinity. He tells me about the thick booklet of information he has to know to become Chief. And that part of the initiation process involves telling jokes to the current Chiefs. There is a lot I will probably never understand about the military. It's like a weird fraternity with weapons. But it has a lot of awesome members, former and current. And a better sense of humor than I thought. Plus, the pins are cool. So there's that.

Pete says he was thinking about what his life would be like if he hadn't married me and it made him cry, he was so sad to think of life without me. I laugh. He says he is being serious (he is rarely serious). But I am laughing not in a HaHa way. I am laughing because I've felt the same way a thousand times. There have been so many moments this year where I've had that This. This is my person. feeling. Followed by a sense of incredulity. How? How is this possible? How did I get so lucky? And then I am crying, from happiness and gratitude and the ache of missing him so acutely.

Marriage is a rush of appreciation and amazement and awesomeness.

Lyric of the moment: "I was standing. You were there. Two worlds collided. And they could never tear us apart..." ~INXS "Never Tear Us Apart"

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Things I want to say about success

In high school, I was voted Most Likely To Succeed. I had no idea what that meant or even why people cared about things like that. Even then I had a feeling my definition of success was different than society's. But I had this moment at the Candlelight 12 hour race where I was like This is it. I have succeeded. I have done what I came here to do. It was not when I hit the 40 mile mark, or 50 miles or 55 miles. It was not that I ran farther than I ever thought possible and somehow didn't get a single blister or fall down or even hurt all that terribly much. It was when another runner said to me "You're the banana, right?" and then yelled "Banana!" every time he saw me on the course (in reference to my recent appearances volunteering at races while wearing a banana costume). And after the race, when we were all posting our race reports in the Facebook group and lovely and overly generous people made comments to me like "Your compliments and encouragement were as tireless as your run! You have a beautiful spirit!" and "Thanks for sharing the trail with the rest of us. You were so kind to everyone as you smoked us! We were actually all talking about how sweet you were out there." I cried while reading them because to me, this is what running is about. This is what life is about: encouraging and cheering, giving back to a community and a lifestyle that has given everything to me. Everything. Strength, happiness, a trail family, a husband.

I feel sometimes that I have disappointed people by not having any competitive nature whatsoever, like they have expected certain things from me and I have failed to deliver on them. Competition is great. If that's your thing. It is not mine. And I can't be what someone else wants me to be. I can only be what I am. I'm not the kind of person who wins races or even looks like a runner. I just really love to run.

Sure, I want to keep pushing myself, to grow better and faster and stronger. But achieving those things won't make me better than anyone else. It will just give me more ways to give back. The faster I get, the more people I could pace or join for training runs. The more race experience I get, the more knowledge I'll have to pass on to others. The more miles I run, the better equipped I will be to provide a home for all the poor, orphaned cookies of the world.

Often the focus of sports is on the winners. And rightfully so. They are incredible. But I think people forget that there are so many other kinds of success. Like the success of service, of being grateful for what we've been given and paying it forward, of giving attention to others instead of seeking it for ourselves.

After Candlelight, Eric texted me this picture and said "Did an edit on this. I like it now. So here."

I love it. It perfectly captures the beauty and the spirit and the blur of the event. But this seemingly simple text captures so much more than that. Eric and Sheila spent all night spectating at the race. They have spent so much time spectating at and directing so many other races, and working on trail maintenance. Eric has been injured and unable to run this summer (but hopefully now on the mend). I well remember how fucking frustrating it is to be injured, to not be able to do this thing you love doing. And still he's out there supporting everyone else, giving back so much to this community. This is the kind of stuff I love. Valone, Sean and Dave - the husbands out there supporting their wives in achieving their goals, as their wives have supported them. My favorite seaman Pete, and all the other military personnel, working hard all over the world in service of their country. That, my friends, is success. That's the kind of person I want to be.

Lyric of the moment: "I do it for the joy it brings. Because I'm a joyful girl. Because the world owes me nothing. And we owe each other the world. I do it because it's the least I can do. I do it because I learned it from you. And I do it just because I want to..." ~Ani DiFranco "Joyful Girl" 

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Candlelight 12 Overnight Ultra Race Report

I used to say that I never wanted to run 50 miles. But somehow and for some reason I ended up doing just that at the inaugural Candlelight 12 hour ultra this weekend. I'm not sure how it even happened and I'm finding it hard to form coherent thoughts about the race. So first, a non-exhaustive list of thanks, without which such insanity would not be possible:

Infinity of thanks to Danielle, Alison, Bob, Mark, Todd, Dave and Laura for joining me at all the stupid o'clock hours for nighttime training runs. To Alison and Bob for driving me to the race, to Alison for letting me borrow her headlamp as a backup and to Bob for staying to cheer until 3am! To Todd and Laura for volunteering at the aid station during the wee hours of the morning and to Laura for driving me home. To Eric and Sheila for being out there cheering all night long and being the heart and soul of the awesome community that is TrailsRoc. To the Valones for letting me stow my stuff under their pop-up tent and making me smile every time I saw them out there crushing the course. To Amber and Greg for being at the start and finish and for teaching me the difference between black metal and death metal. To Dave and Anita for being such upbeat, friendly people. To 3 generations of Stories for being so encouraging and inspiring - and congratulations to Kristy on her epic win! To Prem, Jeff, Erica, Steven, Stacey, Brian VB and Jeff McB for coming to spectate (and to Steven for bringing GatorBull, the drink of champions). And of course to Race Director Gil and all the volunteers (especially the one responsible for delicious homemade cookies appearing at the aid station at 4am) for making it possible for us to run from sunset to sunrise and everything in between.

The race was a 12 hour event, starting at 7pm on Saturday night and ending at 7am on Sunday morning. The course was a 1.07 mile loop on grass and paved paths at the Equicenter in Honeoye Falls and the goal was to run as many full laps as you could in that time. 

I went into the race never having run farther than 32 miles and never having run for anywhere close to 12 consecutive hours. So my only goal was to keep moving for the entire time and see what happened. I honestly didn't think I'd get more than 40 miles and I expected to walk a lot. Mostly I just didn't want to get injured or fall in any horse shit. 

It was hot, sunny and humid when we started, with temperatures in the 80s. I wanted to bank as many miles as I could before it got dark so I only stopped to walk on the lone hill on the course. I started to get worried because I felt tired pretty early on and I didn't know how I was going to last for 12 hours. But then I sat down to pee (in a real bathroom in the barn, which was awesome!). When I got up, my legs felt better. I also started drinking Mountain Dew and eating more at the aid station and that helped as well. Then I realized I was already at mile 20 and the soreness I felt was just normal 20 mile soreness. I could handle that. I told myself I could sit down every 4 hours and elevate my feet for a few minutes. That seemed to alleviate the heaviness in my legs and give me an extra boost.

The 12 hours went by surprisingly fast. I never felt sleepy, but my brain was too tired to think about much of anything. Which was perfect. Rejuvenated by my first sit down, I just got into the zone and went. I stopped to walk the hill on every loop but I ran most everything else. It was still humid but the temperature had dropped into the 60s. The miles passed and I don't really remember much from miles 26-40. The sun set and it was beautiful. The moon came out and it was beautiful. I just kept going and tried to say "nice job" or "looking good" to everyone I saw out there.

I sat down again when I got to 40 miles. Now I had less than 4 hours to go and I was still feeling good. Suddenly this thing seemed almost doable. It turns out that running 50 miles doesn't hurt any more than running a marathon or 50K. Between miles 45 and 50 I almost cried so many times. I teared up at mile 47 when Pete called me from Afghanistan. And when a woman on the course said to me "You're wonderful! Always so positive." And when I hit 50 miles and my brain was all You're doing this! How are you doing this? Why are you doing this? No really, why are you still running? How are you still running? Oh shit, is this a dream? I cannot even if this is just a dream.

Thanks to Eric for the photo!

Thanks to Todd for the photo!

I legitimately don't know how I ran 50 miles or how I kept going for 5 more miles after that. Some part of me wanted to stop. I had nothing to prove. I didn't even want to run 50 miles. But mostly I was just all I came here to run for 12 hours and damnit I am not stopping until I do that. I do remember that the last hour seemed longer than the previous 11 combined. I crossed the timing mat with 15 minutes left on the clock and debated stopping there or trying to get one more loop. I had no idea what pace I'd been running at this point. I thought it was probably slower than 15 minute miles but I figured I had to at least try for one final loop. Why? I have no idea. I think my brain was just like fuck it, let's wreck everything. I mustered whatever speed I had left, which was very little. I even ran 80% of the hill. When I got to the paved path, I couldn't see the finish clock to see how much time I had left so I just started sprinting. Luckily I made it with 4-5 minutes to spare.

Then everything started to hurt. My legs, my abs, my stomach, my brain. But whatever. I ran 55 miles (over 20 miles farther than I've ever gone before) and stayed awake all night. I got to run through the sunset, moonrise and sunrise. I might be dead now. But it was totally worth it.

I have no words that can adequately explain my feelings about this race. The magic of running at dusk, at midnight, at dawn. The joy of doing something I love, of attempting things so outside my comfort zone and finding strength and awesomeness in actually doing them. The overwhelming gratitude I feel for having met all these amazing people and of having married my most favorite of all of them. 

No more 50 milers for me though. Ever.

Lyric of the moment: "The indescribable moments of your life, tonight. The impossible is possible tonight, tonight. Believe in me as I believe in you, tonight..." ~Smashing Pumpkins "Tonight Tonight"

Monday, July 18, 2016

Head full of doubt / Trail full of promise

I ran before work. I ran after work. I ran in the middle of the night. I ran on tired legs and tired brain and tired everything. I ran trails. I ran roads. I ran hill repeats. I went to Fit1 every week and did things I did not think I could do. I ran alone. I ran with some amazing people I am lucky enough to know. I fell down. I got back up. I ran some more. I rested (that was actually the hardest part - the days I didn't run, the races I didn't do). And then I started to taper and felt tired and achy and like WTF have I done? Why did I think I could do this? There is no way I can do this.

In 5 days, I will start running at 7pm and (hopefully) not stop moving until 7am the next day. I don't know how to do this. I have never done anything like this before. I may never do anything like it again. To say I am nervous does not even begin to cover it. This race is so far out of my league. At least 20,000 leagues out of my league. But I suppose that's the whole point. I signed up for Candlelight because it sounded hard. And I wanted to see if I could do it. I don't know if I can. I am not going to set any pace or distance goals because for me, it's not about those things. It's about attempting things that are outside of my comfort zone. It's about the effort, the training to get to the start line. It's about who I've become in the process of doing all those runs and that training. Am I any faster or stronger as a result? I don't know. I don't look or feel any different. But I have some new stories, some new experiences. And, underneath the terror, I am just excited and happy to run around in circles in the dark, to see how far I've come. And how far I can go.

I don't know what will happen at Candlelight, but I know it will be an adventure. Twelve hours where anything can happen. So all I can do is let it. It will be a night of challenges and pain and joy and promise. And who would want to sleep through that?

If you feel like forgoing sleep to come hang out at the Equicenter Saturday night, I would love to see your face. Or accept your advice, hugs, heckles, or anything to keep me moving.

Party on.




Lyric of the moment: "Decide what to be and go be it..." ~The Avett Brothers "Head full of doubt / Road full of promise"

Friday, July 15, 2016

Do you want to be more awesome?

Remember those 90s late-night TV commercials where Sally Struthers extolled the virtues of the totally not at all fake correspondence school where you could "earn your degree at home" or get a career in an exciting field like "Learning the Personal Computer" or "TV/VCR Repair?" I wish there was an updated version of that commercial for the current decade. And that it said something like this...

Change starts with you. So be awesome, my friends. Use your heads for thinking, your hearts for loving and your arms for hugging. Be good to each other. Together, you can repair all the things that are broken, not just TV/VCRs.