July 22, 2016

Unpublished Posts

I found this post from 2012 in draft form and thought it might be time to publish it as a reminder to myself of just how good life is:

For feet that run so far my toenails turn black For cats that sit on the kitchen table to be closer to my typing fingers For the beautiful girl sleeping on my couch (please, stay near...) For the tonic in my fridge, the muffins in my oven For a job that makes a difference, allows me the freedom I crave, and taught me there just might be a "career" for me For a love who is always always always happy to see me, is consistent in every way, makes me want to be better, and catches delicious fishes! For growing relationships with family For 6 jars of honey, all different For the air that intoxicates and the sun that tickles my soul For the friends who have not only stayed, but have worked with me to allow ourselves to grow, together For the ability to put fresh fruits and vegetables together to create something delicious

And then these few unpublished lines from June 2013, just two months after the Boston marathon:

Clean and beautiful. This summer the lake will take the dust that is settling upon me far from me so that I can carry on and be better without being stained. I see smoke but the smoke cannot keep me, and I have an ache that can't have me.

And then almost 2 years later, April 2015:
Friday morning, after a week of post-race fatigue following a 20k trail race and a 77.7 mile bike/run around Seneca Lake, I wiggled out of bed, made myself tea and oats, wandered around my tiny kitchen marveling at our renovation progress, filled my bladder half way, spent a little more time than usual chatting with the chickens, grabbed warmer gloves, made a mental note that my car could use a wash, and made my way to the trail. I was quiet, and my stomach flitted with excitement. I needed more sleep. And I couldn't wait to run. Welcome to my world. I don't write about this much, as it's a part of my life that is so integral to the core of who I am that I don't feel the need to share it or explain it. It's not the run, per se, but rather the way my body, my mind, my entire being is released from the grip of every other part of its self. It's the stepping away from all the things that define me, the allowing me to just be me, in whatever mental and physical state I find myself in a given moment. It is freedom.

And now, in July 2016, I am reminded just how good life has been to me. And I am grateful.

March 1, 2016

Background Music

I can't quite settle with the fact that 2015 will not be summed up concisely in ink to be stored in one place forever for all the world to read and understand. I feel I've broken a promise to myself by not doing so, but mostly I feel cheated; I both want and need to remember the year, and really, it's not so complicated.

The 100K.

Why do I feel the need to hold on to and remember this process? Not the race, because that came and went in a day, but the training.

Because it consumed me. For 6 months Twisted Branch was me. I was Twisted Branch. I can think of only one other thing that ever pushed me to this state of being. When I think back I am filled with awe and disgust, appreciation and frustration. I put this one thing above all other things in my life. For 6 months. And I cannot explain why. You can listen to my attempt at doing so here (my portion starts about 34 minutes in), or read about it here, but still I believe there was more to it. I found something out there on the trails, with nothing but my pack and a Timex watch, for hours. I found more than just miles, hills, and wilderness. I was becoming something, and even in the hours that hurt, I loved who I was. I was focused and free. I was intentional and frivolous. Playful and determined. Reverent and wild. I was all the things I want to be on a daily basis but am not. The woods, the trails, the air, the sun, the rush and the struggle, they stripped me down and let me be me. And there I was, raw... and so deeply contented.

That's a hard thing to explain to someone when what they saw was the choice I made to spend 15-20 hours a week running. They saw intense fatigue, ailments from over and misuse, debilitating hunger and plummeting glucose levels, unnecessary focus and stress to stay on schedule.
They saw the time I wasn't spending with them.

When I crossed the finish line, almost to-the-minute of the time I had hoped for and predicted, I had to take a moment to swallow hard and let the realization that it was over flood through me. 6 months of relentlessly pushing my body, my mind, and the boundaries of each day so that I might find myself in this exact moment - in one piece on the other side of the finish line, happy. What I felt: relief. And sadness. Because despite how much I loved it and that I can't think of anything I'd rather do for 13 hours, I knew I wouldn't be doing it again.

I want to see this world by foot. I need to bare my soul in the forest with endless trail in front of me and the rest of my life waiting patiently for my return. I need to separate from the world so I can see and feel and hear my self... or nothing at all.



*I Paint The World* Copyright © 2008 Black Brown Art Template by Ipiet's Blogger Template