229 Days – Taking Chances

“Ya ready?”

“Hang on… let me find a good Taylor Swift song!”  I said, making fun of Eric who was turning up what sounded like death metal music, blasting from his iPod.

It was a beautiful morning as most of our Bastards ascended into the snow.  Eric and I both had committments after practice so we paired up for a good portion of our early morning adventure.  Running with Eric again… or actually ‘behind’ once he dropped me on the downhill… was a fun reminder of the summer that we spent prepping for our race against each other at the Mt. Disappointment 50k, a story that would be told over and over again whenever we mixed beer and Bastards.   Accepting my defeat for the day, I began to reflect on the past year, and where I wanted this next one to go.

As I think about what has grown to define me over the last few years, I realize that I have become who I am through taking great risks, admitting to myself what I want, and going for it with my whole heart even though failure is possible, and even likely.  That doesn’t mean that I’m not afraid, most of the time I am terrified, but I do it anyway.  And through that I have learned that you are worth exactly what you think you are.  Running isn’t everything, but who I am on the trails does seem to directly translate to who I am in life.  There are two significant events that have taken place during my time with the Arrogant Bastards that I can pinpoint as major risks that I took that defined my character.  One was my victory at Mt Disappointment, and one was my failure at the Angeles Crest 100.

I took a few months off from any hard training, and even writing, to experience life without the escape of running for hours in the mountains.  It allowed me some recovery time as well as the time that I needed to become clear and make good, unclouded decisions in my personal life.  I’ve learned that much like diving into physical challenges that are greater than yourself, day to day life works that way too.  If you are willing to risk everything, you can have almost anything in your life that you want.  You can’t always choose the people that you want to experience it with you, but if you choose your path first, the right people seem to join.

It seems appropriate that I kick off the year with another risk.   Being a 100 mile runner, a 50k in the mountains, through the night, doesn’t exactly intimidate me.  Last year was fun.  I got to experience that distance with a few people for the very first time.  This year I get that opportunity too, but with someone who equally challenges me.   It was a risk to ask Kristin, one of our fastest female Bastards, to partner with me, while she was crushing the team at the Mt. Baldy Race To The Top and I was preparing to completely destroy myself in a 100 mile race, not knowing how long my recovery would take.  But as the weeks pass by and I start to feel my legs come back to life, I realize that it was a risk worth taking.  I’m excited to do this race with her, and to help her prepare for her own Mt. Disappointment challenge next year!

In 2013,  I will keep it simple… Life is short.  No one knows the day or the time when their life will end. I’m cherishing the ones who love me as much as I love them, and I’ll stop wasting time on people that don’t.   I will succeed and I will fail, but I’ll give my goals my all,  even when the risk of failure is great.  I will make mistakes, remembering there is no fun in a perfect life.  And most importantly,  I’ll make a choice to look back at my life saying ‘I can’t believe I did that’ rather than ‘I wish I did that.’  Starting with preparation for a 6 year goal in the making… just 229 days away!!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Louis December 18, 2012 at 12:14 am

Love it!

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ススーパーコピー December 18, 2012 at 9:36 am

This is a nice post!

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