In one week I will be packing up my car, checking my list once, twice, three times, for an early morning rise on Tuesday to start my drive to Vermont. 1200 miles later I will be pulling into the Blueberry Hill Ski Lodge campsite to begin my preparations to start the 48-hour event on Friday morning, with the intent of finishing 100-miles.
But what started as a goal to run 100-miles has changed into a goal of finding myself after some big changes in my life last year, and I find myself as I am on the precipice of this event looking back on the past year and the changes that have happened in my life, and I am finding that the conclusion is this:
I finally feel that I am in a good place.
There were some rough spots, of course, some for the better, some not, but all in all, I have come out on this side feeling that I am in a good place.
I have lost friends, but most were for the best. I have had friendships change, which I struggled with for a long time (and still do at times, to be honest) but have accepted the change and have tried my best to move forward. I have been met with potential relationships that I fought at the beginning, out of fear, or hesitance, that I learned to accept and appreciate.
I have learned that I am a good friend and valuable person, and those that cannot see this are the ones with the issues, not me. I learned to cut loose those that annoy and irritate and open myself to those that enjoy who I am, what I am, warts and all.
It is still a challenge at times, and even at 53, I am trying to be a better person. But I do try.
I have come to recognize this event, this 100-mile, 48-hour odyssey of sorts, to be the demarcation point of my “rebirth”. I may never try another event of this length ever again, but this was a soul-searching journey. I have had many supporters, from all of the members of the Endurance for Everyone group on Facebook to the listeners of the podcast, from my coaching clients who teach me more than I probably teach them, from old friends like Jennifer Cultrera who manage to shoot me an encouragement every once in a while even though she is engulfed in her own journey, from even older friends like Jennifer Diaz who have re-entered my life to help me reach goals I didn’t even know I had. From the newest members of my life like Nancy Thapaliya who have shown me support and guidance even when I was actively fighting against it (and a fight I am glad I lost) and those like Randy Messman, Roxanne Baggott, and Brent Larimer, who have pushed me forward in the podcast and the E4E team that I was pushing myself, helping to create a team of like-minded, supportive, and engage athletes of all fitness levels. And especially to my coach Meghan Collins-Fanning who has helped guide me through some tough issues, has always supported my decisions, called me out when I was doing or saying stupid things, and hand-holding when I started spiraling a bit.
A side note on MGF. She has had to opt out of the 888K distance at the same event weekend, and though I feel really bad she cannot make her attempt, it has made a WORLD of difference in my psyche knowing that she will be around for my attempt and can help me. I am so selfish.
So, all-in-all, I feel stronger both physically and mentally than I was a year ago, even though cracks appear at times. I am looking for more advancement in the next few years. Who knows? Maybe by the time I am 60 I’ll be the mental and physical person I see in my head.