Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!! 2017, I just can’t believe how quickly time goes.

I look back at 2016 and feel … peace.

I enjoyed speaking at the Upper Midwest Trail Runners banquet at year end. When I was invited to  speak at first I needed to say no. I just didn’t feel like I wanted to share. I'm in a different place.  I was given a few weeks to think about it.

After meditating and praying on it, I decided to say yes. I realized I have plenty to offer and to speak about.  I thought back to the first UMTR banquet in 2008. Kim and Andy Holak were our speakers. I remember how Kim impressed me with her experience, the stories she shared and her willingness to answer my 101 questions.  I decided I wanted to do the same. I realized I did have something to offer and that this might be a good way to close this chapter.

The banquet was a lot of fun. I and Jan O’Brien were the speakers, Bill introduced us and  then asked questions.  It was well organized and I spoke well. I wrapped up with a piece of advice ‘Don’t let running define you. You are so much more than a runner. There is so much more to life..than your next run’. Many didn’t get that last statement, but many of my true friends, the ones that have been doing this for years…looked right at me and nodded…’yes’.  We know.

I felt like that Banquet brought me full circle.  I began running to lose weight and to stay sober 20 years ago. It morphed into something that became a daily habit…which I didn’t feel like myself it I didn’t get it in.  Running brought me great joy. Friends. It became a big part of ME.  Then it began to overshadow me, my health,  my relationships. I began to run more than I did anything else. I entered races to feed my habit. If I entered, I needed to train, I needed to run. People began to call me Bad Ass. Really, it was Dumb Ass. My body can no longer sustain the miles I have put upon it. I have run 80,000 miles. That’s  enough.

I realized I was no longer creating goals and entering races. I was entering races to fill my need.

When I wasn’t able to walk without pain, not able to drive without pain, I finally realized I needed to change. I didn't want another surgery.  I have been praying for a long time to lose this need to run long. I no longer want to ache, to need to run, to hurt after 10 miles, it’s just not worth it. As I said last post, I've lost that need, thank goodness. I can try to heal. As I’ve begun to cut back on my mileage my feet aren’t throbbing constantly, I'm not limping any more, I don't feel like my other foot needs surgery any longer, my knees don’t hurt as I walk down the steps. My ankles don’t turn and twist constantly. The swelling and redness is gone from my cellulitis . I’m getting better. I’m getting stronger.

I am running a few miles daily, I am skiing, lifting, snowshoeing and I am finding peace. I am healing.

I ran my 80,000 mile today. No wonder I'm feeling done with this. 80,000 miles. 

I am no longer running away from those demons that have chased me for so long.  I’m no longer running away.

We had a wonderful Christmas break. Steve took two weeks off, I had 10 days off, Tyler took the week off and Troy is home until January 16. We spent days together-we ate together-we played together. I didn't leave for any races,  I didn't spend days away or hours away training. We were together and all that this brings. 

Peace. I feel Peace.