Monday, December 15, 2014

run happy

Do you know that feeling when the unexpected occurs?

Two weeks ago I was sitting at my kitchen table, working on my laptop, when I heard a loud rushing swirling up toward me from under the house. I wanted to believe it was a nearby train but the sound crescendoed. I froze as an unfamiliar force took over. Bracing myself, I was out of time. Walls shook.  

Heart racing, I stepped onto my front porch, expecting to hear animals crying, but there was no chaos. Just peace. Perplexed, I went back inside, thinking my apartment was about to explode (years ago a gas leak went undetected for months...perhaps it was back). However, when I returned to the kitchen a picture was swinging wildly from its nail. I jumped online to discover Facebook abuzz with posts. A 4.7 magnitude earthquake had struck close to Flagstaff at 10:57 p.m.

It was November 30th. I thought, "What is December bringing?" I reflected upon what's most important to me, and how I'm fostering - or squandering - that. I contemplated how I can better honor this life I've been given.

This is a time of year when I take a break from running to enjoy the off-season. I do the things I usually can't. I explore what life is like without running, delving into aspects I typically just think about. I lose my fitness. I empty myself and reassess. I run sporadically, only if I want to.

When I do hit the trails, I notice vibrant colors, feel cool clean air, smell wood burning in stoves alongside the urban trail, and appreciate brown meadow grasses in ways I cannot when I'm caught in the routine of a training regimen, bound by time. Running becomes free, and fun, again. My pace is slow while tight, sore muscles and lingering injuries give way to a powerful understanding, a keen awareness that life is much better with running in it.

Just as I was feeling like I'm not yet ready to give this up, last Wednesday afternoon a surprise email came. The wonderful kind. It was from Brooks Running Company, offering me sponsorship on their 2015 INSPIRE DAILY ELITE TEAM. Brooks's philosophy is congruent with my beliefs.

I signed a one-year contract the next morning.

I cannot wait to see what manifests in 2015.

Happy Holidays!! Run Happy!

Coldwater Rumble 31k

Coldwater Rumble 31k
January 21st, 2012 - Goodyear, Arizona (photo by Aravaipa Running)