Stopping to smell the Purple Poodle.

“Alright guys, two options today.  One is pretty straightforward, another is an adventure!”

In true Bastard spirit, the majority of the team’s eyes lit up and raised their hands that they had chosen the adventure.  So off into the woods we went, to explore an overgrown trail and see how far and where it would lead us.

After the Grand Canyon, I had some health issues that kept me from pursuing my goal of finishing what I started at the Angeles Crest 100.  I would be lying to say that it is not disappointing, but I am not sad.  The time down has given me an opportunity to focus on some other things in my life, although I think Monya might be getting a bit annoyed by my random, stir-crazy non running texts like:  “Hey!  I found a great class this weekend on making felt animals, lets go!”

Expectation is the root of heartache, and I’m realizing that the ‘bad’ things that happen in your life most of the time are good things in disguise.  Those situations propel you forward in the way that ‘easy and comfortable’ cannot.  I couldn’t run with my team on Saturday as they scampered off into the unknown, but I was able to hike a few steps behind them, shooting photos, noticing some different animal footprints I probably wouldn’t have seen otherwise and ‘stopping to smell the purple poodle’ (a pretty but poisonous flower that grows in our forest).

My athletic life once again reflects my personal life on this level too and I learned a very valuable lesson that would not have been learned had the purpose of it matched the original expectation.  I watched as a ‘pretty but poisonous’ situation that seemed to have a negative ending, turn itself into a fun and happy memory.  It had a domino effect that pushed my life into an extremely positive place, allowing some new people to enter it that would not have otherwise, and moving me away from some situations that it was time to let go of.  Things have become much more happy, less dramatic and stressful when I start to see every circumstance in my life for the positive and not dwell on fleeting moments of negative.  In most instances, it is not someone’s intent to hurt, people just make mistakes.  Big ones sometimes.  But I do too.

I feel like I’m on a new and slightly overgrown but adventurous path myself right now, excited to see how far and where it will lead.  And in my downtime from my athletic endeavors, I am really enjoying being there for my athletes as they pursue their goals.  It is wonderful to have a team full of people who allow me to enjoy their race experiences as well, and I feel as excited and nervous for them as I do for myself when I face big challenges.  24 days… It won’t be me this year, but I have two people that I believe in very much, ready to go to battle against a challenge that beat me last year.  AC100, I am sending you two of my very best.  Go get that buckle, Rainer and Chris!!

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