Thursday, June 19, 2014

Right Here in the Middle

This post has nothing to do with sheepdoggin' and yet it has everything to do with sheepdoggin'.  It's a bed time, fairytale of a story that starts like this:

It began last fall, when I sat down and really thought about the fact that, in 2014, I would celebrate a milestone birthday.  As always the good and disciplined over-thinker, I started pondering my life and what I wanted to do to celebrate the amazing unfolding of my story.  I wanted to do something very radical, something way out of anything I thought I could ever do and so I decided to run a half marathon at a Disney Park.

Now, having never really run before, and for sure, having never liked it the few times I tried, I knew it would take a lot of courage, digging deep and sorting out of myself.  I bought a "couch to 5K" book and read it, from start to finish.  I then lamented to a friend, "I can't do this!  I can't run a 5K let alone a half marathon".  She gently suggested I start reading the book again, but instead of hurrying through to the end, maybe just turn one page at a time and live that page. She assured me the rest would take care of itself.  And so I began, running a minute (sure my iPhone timer had broken because, truly, it was the longest minutes of my life) and walking three; round and round my back yard with the dogs cheering me one with glee.  My minutes began to get longer, so I moved it out to the ranch where I walked and ran (my coach calling it "wogging") around my pastures.  Yes, I hired a coach to guide me and hold me accountable....somebody who had been there and done that to hold the hand of this serious never before runner.  My son "caught" me one day and I had to confess to him my shenanigans.  As the minutes of running got longer, I began to hit the road.

Eventually I had to get my family involved in my plan.  There were races to run to prepare me for the big dance and I needed help to pull my plan off.  It's not like I wanted to be secretive, it was just that the journey of finding myself was so private.  I did not want anyone "trying" to hold me accountable or quizzing me on my progress.  I wanted to dig deep and do the hard work for myself.  I found myself taking baby steps into the knowing of the world of me.  My first race was a 5k to benefit the K-9 police unit in Stayton......my biggest fear of being last with the race closed down before I could cross the finish line was just that...an unfounded fear.

Race #1
I've now finished three 5K's all together, my favorite one run on Mother's day where I ran like a mother and had a good strong plan that I stuck to.  I'm headed to a few 10K's to see what is next with the added milage.  I love the long runs of my training....they ground me.  I find my mind wandering all over the place, solving dog training issues, working through thoughts until I find my mind settled into a good rhythm of footsteps and breath... a stillness that I have longed for.  I've cried a few tears over my speed work.  I want it right now and perfect by the way and I have to find forgiveness and compassion for myself and my shortcomings.  I am my hardest and most critical evaluator....I'm working on that.  I see so much of the dogs and their work in my running; although they are genetically gifted for their task.

My trip to Wyoming turned out to be something other than what I had dreamed of when I made those original plans.  Bella was sore, Nell was sick of me....the journey was more about me finding joy in the journey than it was about any placement, point outcome.  My runs were priceless:

running in Idaho
ranch running outside Buffalo, Wyoming
running the trails of Buffalo, Wyoming
Kaycee, Wyoming's red road running
I'm over half way there: 9 miles being my longest run at this point.  As I look at myself from the inside out, I know I have only begun to scratch the surface of finding myself....little bits of me are picked up on the roads I run.  My speed work shows me those dragon parts of myself.....the doubts and other feelings I find hard to put in words.  I know I don't HAVE to do this, but then again, I know I do.

the roads of home
I'll be running my half marathon January 18th 2015 at Disneyland....my family cheering me on.  I have both inside and outside work to do....I continue to pick up the pieces of me.  I'll be running for St. Jude's Children Hospital......for every day I have lived the most amazing life, I want to join in helping to allow others to do the same.

If you want to become a part of my team of sponsors here is the link to donate:

http://fundraising.stjude.org/site/TR/Heroes/Heroes?px=2690313&pg=personal&fr_id=22590

If the time is not right, I understand but I could still use your moral support as I train.

This journey of life is truly amazing.......made ever sweeter by those who share the road. Thank you for sharing mine.

Seize the Day!