Thursday, September 5, 2013


photo by Austin Lottimer. Orcas Island. 

Things just happen. We make decisions and directions shift, outcomes shift, everything shifts, changes. It’s simple, and yet, so hard to figure out sometimes.

Running Leadville, which is tucked away, folded up in the past now, became a shifting moment for me.

It started at Twin Lakes outbound when Alex T. showed up, drove all the way from Aspen for only a few hours before work, told me I had to start eating. 

It happened when Gina ran across highway 82 with me and told me this is what I am made to do, this next section, this climb up Hope Pass. To go up and up and up, that is my world.

It happened when I saw Austin. Austin jumping, clicking his heels together. Austin smiling. Sitting back in that unclear way you retreat when you’re not sure what feels appropriate in the moment.

It happened when Alex D. just smiled at me, big toothy grin. I smiled back. Alex the silent cheerer.

Deb rang cowbells and flipped her hair in her Deb Colley way, doctored my ankle. Concerned smile, her holding so much of everyone else like she does.

It happened when I saw Lauren. Strong, never give up big sister. I hadn't seen her since April. Running with a baby on her hip. She has carried me often. 

It happened when Blair told me everything was OK. The magical words, “It’s OK,” Words she wrote, repeatedly, on her latest blog post ( Truly perfect advice that carries us through the shifts we don’t understand. Grounding advice. Advice I’ve had to hear over and over. Advice I dish out, too. Because it’s the only thing that validates our feelings sometimes.

Data. Feelings are data. I watch them come and go in myself like I’m watching a graph. But it’s easy to get bogged down by the abstract idea of feelings. Of feeling. Of choices. Lack there of.

But things. Things just happen. Energy carries things. Energy transforms. Shifts. We float with that energy. On and on and on.

I never knew how to hold myself up. I’ve spent over a decade fighting myself. That’s a truth. Is it cliché to say a race and a group of people cheering at a race taught me how to hold myself up? Maybe. Running, running, running. Fast, slow, up and over mountains. Lungs burning, my legs carry me to so many places.

I’ve for so long resisted identifying myself as a runner. It’s just a piece of me, I'd say. Oh, you know, I run and, like, do races and stuff. ...  I resisted. Labels. It’s a big piece. My heart maybe, my heart is a runner. I have to run. I need to run. I need my body, strong, healthy living body to run. I need to love my body to run well. Excel. Push farther, faster.

Things just happen.

My being, my heart, soul, I am a runner. I move forward with that decision. To embrace myself as a runner. See how things happen.