50 Days – Today is Victory Over Yesterday

Above are two pictures of Red Box… the first was taken by Carl 1.5 months ago. The second was taken recently. Initially I didn’t really have much of a desire to run Angeles Crest. I liked my forests back in Atlanta… lush and green. Southern California trails were a lot different… desertous with some trees surrounded by brush. But I knew that if I ran AC, it was a ticket to get me other places like Western States, Badwater and Wasatch. So I signed up. On the weekends I would head out to Red Box for my training runs, sometimes with Carl or Kellie and sometimes on my own. In time I got to know other areas too. The run up to Strawberry Peak and Baden Powell. And something in my heart changed. I began to fall in love with those trails. That forest became my refuge, blocking out my cell phone signal as I entered and welcoming me into it’s arms whenever I needed to run away. Within it’s mountains, it sheltered me from all the things I was afraid of out in the ‘real word’ and I left it feeling stronger than I ever knew I could be.

Today, I took a deep breath, went on to the Javelina website once more to see that silly girl in a blonde ponytail, dressed head to toe like Alice In Wonderland, smiling and heel striking her way through 100 miles. I gave her a crooked little smile… ‘Wanna race?’
Immediately I logged on to another website to order my costume. I was just logging off as my phone rang. It was Erich.
“So, what would you think about me running Javelina?” We excitedly discussed it and less than 5 minutes after we hung up, I received a text from him that Jamil had let him back in the race! Originally he had pulled out due to handball but the schedule seemed to have worked itself out.
I almost felt like that was the final piece of the puzzle. Erich was the rock that got me through that race last year, and I would have him there again, just in a different way. Today I let go of the AC100, but the trails are still in my heart and I will still do everything in my power to restore it’s beauty when I am given the green light.
I think I stand a darn good chance of winning that costume contest again, but my hope is that there are plenty of people there to give me a run for my money, and that a group of people that have felt such sadness as of late can share a laugh and a goofy little contest while testing their limits in an extreme way. The one thing that I do want to come home with is my 2nd Javelina belt buckle, which I will give to Coach LeClair and Kellie for the lobby of Team CrossFit Academy. Not sure why that is so important to me, but it is. It feels like that little hope buried below the ashes of my dreams. It’s that thing that has made me want to fight again. Javelina, here I come!

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