Warning: This is not a post about hydration tips and pre-race preparation hints!
This week, I am gearing up for my 4th 100 mile race. It so happens that they have all been in 2012. My 3rd race was the Tahoe Rim Trail 100 which I finished 71 miles of. Not what I intended to do but a great adventure just the same.
Why 4 in a year? Well, honestly, in a way, it’s not as hard as it sounds. There is a fear that is removed once the distance has been completed. Not to say that any 100 mile is easy or predictable but that initial uncertainty of the distance is gone.
And then I started thinking about some of the underlying meaning for me. It has been a really hard year. And, I do mean spirit breaking hard. Nobody told me life was going to be honey and sunshine all the time, but I have always managed to take the bad chunks and work around them.
I think the 100’s made me stronger. The vision has to be stronger than the hardship. The vision of whatever we really value and hold dear has to be so clear and defined that even when things get murky, we can move through. I think the race is like that, for me around mile 60-70. Before that point in the race, it’s generally a pretty good time. Chatting with other runners, thinking about strategy, whooping it up. But then, my mind has gotten tired – more than the body. It gets a little hazy as to why I am actually doing this. That is where it becomes a practice for real life. It challenges me to be more focused, tougher and very clear about my goal.
This week, I was listening to the author Larry Levin talking about his book Oogy. He said that Oogy, his horribly abused rescue dog showed us how we can come out the other side, no matter the hardship, and find love. Getting caught up in the momentary ups and downs is so easy to do. When I go out there this weekend, I plan to honor those that I know are struggling to hold their vision when daily life is threatening to batter it. Keep the vision – write it, shout it, pray it, don’t stop and don’t give up.
And, to my dear friend, Trent Bright who lost his struggle this past week, I will miss you and hope you have found peace and light.