When you’re feeling like you’re under a rock pile, if you’re in the mountains you probably are.
So when I felt, in life, as if I was being smothered, buried alive, unable to breathe, I did what I do. I find something ridiculous and do it.
I needed to feel as if I could get myself out from under this pile of rubble. I thought about where I had been, where I had felt most alive, what moved me and then I went there. I went back to the top to prove to myself that despite any obstacle, I could – and would – come out on top.
No two days for a runner, even if it’s the same mountain, are ever exactly the same. Today was no different as I stood at the start. A start that I had toed the line to once before, but this time the course was different, the mileage was different, and the company was different.
I’m not in any kind of race shape and the plan was to just enjoy the mountain. Take in the views. Have good conversation. Enjoy the company.
But, my toes were springy and as my excitement grew, it became clear that it was time to race. I was four miles in and I’d never catch the leader, but as I took off my long sleeve and tied it around my waste, I knew I could give getting into the top three a go. I’d watched peacefully as the lead group pulled away from our second string pace.
The lead woman is a Montanan legend whom I was happy to introduce myself to again and have her remember me……she’s just that good.
I would have never been able to hang with her so my easy-does-it start was perfect for making sure I could run a negative split in this mountain race – exactly what I did.
And did it I did. I moved around a few racers and had fun leap frogging with a couple guys who had quicker paces on the downs and flats but my relentless ability to climb kept me up with them.
The journey was, just as in life, difficult. The climb was straight up to the heavens. But again, just like anything worth having, there’s work to be out in first. I worked over boulders. I worked over downed logs. I worked while it rained and made the rocks slippy and the mud sloppy. I worked through streams that cut the trail and then I worked through soaked shoes that became heavy. I worked, and I climbed, and I shuffled, and I ran………and then I did: I came out on top.
And today, the journey is a great story. The views I collected were stunning. The desire to take on something bigger than me and to not quit, to not stop, to not turn around before the goal was achieved and to come out on top is my prize.
The clay pot I won for working my way back into the top three is a hard won reminder that the day will bring what it may ~ even if it doesn’t start at a winning pace, it doesn’t mean you can’t come out on top.
Groovy Girls Go……………….All the Way to the Top from All the Way in the Back