No, It was Hal Koerners Field Guide to Ultrarunning neatly placed in the middle of a VERY expensive pair of waterproof socks. The gift was great but didn't make my heart palpitate or my palms sweat yet....It was when I opened the book that the true intention of the gift was revealed.
Psalm 121:1 "I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come?"
Intitailly, I jumped up and down in excitement. My excitement faded, however; I continued to FAKE it as I read the course description.
I was far beyond sweaty palms and anxiety. I was sick, my stomach turned over in overwhelming fear.
For months, I told Andy I was going to drop down to the 50M. Problem was there was NO 50M. I decided I would just make a vacation out of it and do the 50K.
Andy said I could do whatever I wanted ONLY he said he KNEW I could do it.
Everything about this ultra scared me. The elevation, the woods, the animals, the fact that my family couldn't be there to watch me like they had in the past. I would have no cell signal and I would be running up a stinking mountain. I would be ALONE.
But the crazy thing, God opened doors. That spring out of the blue Matt and Ken called and asked if I would like to run with them at Holdridge on Mondays.
Then Kris and Rachel began inviting me to run with them on Thursdays.
I knew I was supposed to RUN this. It didn't take the fear away. I am still scared out of my mind but then I was bound to not let FEAR win. I don't want to live hostage to fear and mediocracy. I want to live life responsibly on the edge. Experience great things, see life in awe and have fun because we don't know our last day.
I never dipped down. And with 9 days to go, I was reminded how close I was to wimping out.
With 9 days to go I am still training. Training on fear. I am reminded almost everyday "Hope you trained HILLS." I have, but you can NOT run to many hills therefore I was back at it today. I wanted to run with Jama on the trails, laughing and chatting.
But that wasn't going to get it done.
The Hard Stuff in HILLS.
One hour of hill repeats.
My house it located at the top of a hill. Either way you go, you're either going down or going up.
So that is exactly what I did.
One side of the hill is steep and fast and the other side is long and steady.
UP up up then down down down I went, over and over again.
It didn't take 1 mile before I was stripping off my long sleeve purple Woodstock shirt, tying it around my waste.
I had no idea how many times I was going be riding this hill. I was hoping not more than 5 times. By the fourth time,climbing the steep side, I could feel the blood leaving my extremities. I was praying the oncoming traffic could see me as the sun blinded them. Out of breath, I continued to smile and wave at all the traffic that moved over to let me ride the road.
5 times came and went. I quit counting. I looked at my watch 54:18 as I was heading back up. I was going to have to pass my street or hit the hill 1 MORE TIME, going over my time.
I had already tripped 2 times and exhaustion. My legs were tired but I knew this was NOTHING compared to what CLOUDSPLITTER was going to be like.
"Let's GO NITA." I am NOT dropping down.
I would have continued to run till I crawled had I not had some place to be a 9:30am.
COLLISION: As I ran those hills, I was patting myself on the back knowing that I was doing what I had to do regardless of how much I didn't want to.
I thought about those I love who are struggling. Even myself. The easy route would be to keep on trudging in the least possible pain as we can.
But the real work, the hard work always brings pain. Success is not painless. It is grit, determination, sweat and sacrifice. It is doing what doesn't always "feel good."
OHH BUT WAIT..it gets worse..
That is just the tip of the iceberg.
Because when you decide conquer the pain in your life often times we think we can quit half way through.
I wanted to quit. I endured enough.
But enough wasn't enough. I had more hills to conquer. More pain. More sweat and I was MORE determined than ever to NOT quit despite how easy it would have been. Afterall, who is going to say anything, I tried, right?
It has NOTHING to do with ANYONE but YOU. You keep conquering those hills in your life because it is your journey. It is for your benefit. Your story.
I ran alone. No one was there to cheer me on, encourage me or coach me to go on.
We are not always going to have an audience there to encourage us. And quite honestly, when you are gritting it out most people struggle to encourage you because it is convicting. So you need to be your biggest cheerleader in the hills of life.
People are not going to understand your hills, your struggles, your hurts but that doesn't mean you don't continue to climb through them.
I put some money aside for a little field trip to REI. OH the FUN. I could have spend an afternoon and a retirement fund in there!
But I managed just a small bag of goodies.
|Do you still the pretty lil box....I cant wait to play with it!!|