Monday, November 4, 2013

Pinhoti 100

   100 miles is a long way to go. It provides many more than 100 ways you can be challenged along the way. Pre-race I was confident I could overcome whatever the run brought my way. Just as I expected my race would come into question as the struggles grew, but I certainly couldn't have imagined anything close to the real experience.

6:01AM Nov.2.2013.

The race had already started, although I hadn't. I was now full out running opposite the race participants frantically searching out the check-in tent. Once my name was checked on the list of starters I was off running, bib in hand since I only had two safety pins and no time. I started running headed for the single track trail.

The first 100+ runners were already on the trail and the others at a stand still at the trail head awaiting the bottleneck to empty out enough to squeeze on. All I could hear in my mind was the pre-race speech the night before about how important it would be to start where you want to be because it's single track and nobody likes the person who has to keep passing everyone. I shoved myself in front of as many people as possible, but I was still WAY behind where I planned on starting and knew that I was about to be "THAT" runner. I would surge left, pass and jump back into the trail with a "sorry, on your left, thank you!" About the third time I did that, roughly 100 yards onto the single track trail, as I jumped back onto the trail my right ankle folded over the right edge of the trail.* POP POP* I heard as I pulled my ankle back under my leg thanking god no one noticed and I was still standing. A wave of nausea and pain swept over me. "Should I quit?" I asked myself hobbling as normally as possible, after all I felt terrible about being the trail jerk already and this almost felt like karma. The pain was reminiscent to the last time I sprained my ankle back in college, which I'd run on for three weeks or so before seeking care, but even then I certainly didn't run on it immediately. The previous experience mixed with knowing that it'd swell enough soon to provide some support made me decide I'd keep moving, cautiously of course, as it was wobbly underneath me. Slowly it became more steady but every little rock was an issue. I knew one more sprain would have me down and finished.

Passing the first aid station I shed my long sleeve shirt and headlamp, forgetting to even mention the ankle to my crew. I just kept moving as I was way off where I wanted to be secondary to being stuck behind numerous runners starting at a lower pace than I was planning for and the darn ankle. I hustled through AS (aid station) 2, making sure to finally connect my bib to myself with my safety pins and tell my crew to please find me some motrin and Tylenol as I would be in need down the road. Still moving steadily through AS 3 but beginning to worry as my stomach felt heavy, I wasn't eating much at all and was concerned for the long term effects on my race but I just couldn't take much more in. AS 4, I paused taking a breather. No crew was allowed here so there was less intensity and I could catch my breath and slow my mind. I was so concerned about pace and my ankle that my mind had spinning for hours already. And I really wasn't feeling well. I jumped back in and in no time arrived at AS 5.

I was excited to see my crew and confident I could keep on. I force fed myself some food and tried to convince myself to move but the ankle was large and trying to win my attention, I hesitated for another minute and then realized how much worse it felt after stopping and again jumped right back in the run. AS 6, great people out there, grabbed a couple pretzels nothing big, just running on some of the most gorgeous trails I've had the opportunity to experience. I was already into the climb but the next stretch was the long portion of the climb to Bald Rock. It was already the warmest time of day, my stomach still lead heavy and my calorie intake severely deficient. My doubts began to play on my mind.

The climb kept on going, as they always seem to. Another female runner past me and said. "It's too bad we don't have enough energy to enjoy the view when we get to the top." I instantly agreed although I had every intention of enjoying the view (perhaps that means I wasn't going 'hard enough') and I did. I ventured nearer the edge of Bald Rock itself before I remember the fatigue in my legs and thought how terrible if I fell right off the edge. From where I did stand for a wonderful 20 seconds you could see the most amazing view, per Dave (my crew), roughly 35 miles out across Alabama on a gorgeous fall day around 3 o'clock in the afternoon. Then I ran across the wooden bridge into the AS. I needed a change of shoes. My Nike Free's which I truly did consider to be good enough for this trail, and they might have been, were not with the soft swelling and laxity in my ankle. I needed more support and more shock absorbance so I changed into my Ryka trail shoes, which are alright but tear up my heals where the back edge rub, something I knew I'd be dealing with hours later. Despite my well designed crewing bag, my socks were no where to be found so I kept the damp and dirty ones on. I ate a pickle, some cola, some plantains and bagged up some raw cookies and despite coming into the AS with a mind full of quitting I was up and ready to go with my pacer, Joe.

We were off, down Blue Hell, my absolute favorite terrain- boulders.... but not nearly so enjoyable with a busted ankle. Climbing down steep rock face for half of a mile was rough but still enjoyable. The next few miles Joe was trying to push me, but I felt strained. He would suggest a trot and I would try. My left quad was giving out early as it was taking the extra balance and support off my right leg. I felt worse and worse, but pushed hard. I just couldn't seem to keep it up. I would feel weak and dizzy, short of breath and then get just enough 'umph' to pick it up again, but I wasn't recovering well. AS 8 I ate nothing, drank a little cola but I felt like my stomach was maxed out. I'd also taken a nice fall and tore some skin off my hand so we did a quick rinse and tape job. Then, I just refilled my water bottle with Heed and kept on going. My stomach was at its worst yet and then I got hungry.  AS 9 I took in potato chips and bacon, and my favorite salted boiled potatoes. I felt good, until we started moving again. This stretch was the shortest on the course 3.2 miles. Joe really wanted me to get moving and I was just crashing. I thought since I finally got some food in me, I'd be great in no time. Instead I felt at my worst. My stomach throbbed, my sight blurry, my legs weak and unmanageable. I couldn't believe it, and yet I could. This was mid-race, about the time my mind is weakest. I knew it would come and I knew I'd have to get past it. I was determined and trudged through the trail to AS 10. Here I sat. I rested, I ate. I put on a long sleeve shirt and grabbed my headlamp and flashlight. It was only 5:30PM but it was dark on the trail. Despite truly thinking it was a nice time to quit I was up again, my humor had returned. I was smiling and joking as we trotted onto the course.

I got back into the game and started moving, my way. I was hiking. I couldn't run on my ankle, not even a shuffle, but my hike was just as fast as a slow shuffle and I worked it, hard. We picked up pace and covered distance steadily. AS 11, I felt strong. Filled my bottle with Hi-Ball coconut water (now a new favorite) and we just kept moving. AS 12 and 13 are a blur, I was doing well. There were highs and lows but I was pacing well and on track. There was  pretty good climb in there which was rough but I was handling alright. I was still only eating at random, not as often as I should. And I needed to redoes the my Tylenol/ motrin combo. Leaving AS 13, after refilling another Hi-Ball coconut water, Dave asked me if I needed any warmer layers. I felt so good temperature wise I said I wouldn't need it. It had clearly gotten colder, which Joe and I both noticed but only when we stopped running, so I was certain I was fine. We were about to take on a long climb, I was afraid I'd overheat!

The trek to Pinnacle, AS 14 was endless but fun. The switchbacks were amusing and the course was wonderful, I was only slightly disappointed that I couldn't run in the dark at all on the trail. My favorite time and place to run, but I had to keep each step with my right foot certain. At the top we refueled, AS 15 and again I was on my way. Still felling great, and comfortable. We were trekking nearly jogging along a long stretch of fire road when something went terribly wrong. The temperature dropped and the cool wind that was blowing was no longer my friend. I felt myself getting cold, my whole body tightening and slowing, as if someone had thickened my blood. I said to Joe, "I am about to hit danger zone cold." For anyone who knows me, you know that when I get to that level of cold, it's nearly impossible to break the chill without being submerged in 100 F degree water for 20 minutes. Within five minutes of my statement to Joe, everything changed.

My legs were stiff, my knees wouldn't bend, my legs felt uncontrollable, my ankles frozen and pain through and through. I was shivering a little and increasing. I prayed in my mind that this would break, that I hadn't gotten to my true Danger Zone in terms of body temp. We arrived at AS 16 and I went straight for the fire, with everyone around afraid I'd fall right in. I was deliriously cold. I had no feeling left in my fingers and just pain through my legs. I could hardly breathe properly and my eyes were blurry and tearing. I could hardly feel the fire. I still tried to have hope and focus. I got pants on and my warmest jacket, a new pair of gloves and hot hands. I was still shaking hard. But I wanted to keep moving. I drank three cups of hot broth/ noodles. Someone at the AS asked me about my protein intake and I tried to think about how much that might help, but instead I was thinking time and liquid. I'd just had 20 oz. of liquid and already had to escape the woods but I wasn't ready, being female, I basically have to be half naked for minute and being that cold I just couldn't do it. So I turned down the bean soup offer and headed out, hoping with all my might that my legs would warm and my heart would get back into that enjoyable rhythm I had going on when I was warm. No such luck, I actually felt like I was still getting colder, the harder I pushed the more terrible it seemed to feel.

I began wondering if I was being stupid. I mean, how cold was I? Mostly things are mind over matter, but in this case I couldn't tell. I tried to run and it was like everything was delayed and off balance and then the return of the pain and wobbling in my joints. I stuck with a walk striding for 4mph but feeling like it was slower and slowing. I was actually afraid I could become hypothermic, so I kept checking my orientation. The only way I would quit was if finishing meant I was headed the hospital. I would not make a fool of myself or hurt myself for something that is for fun. If I truly couldn't I wouldn't but otherwise I was finishing, no matter what.

Joe took off his jacket and threw that on me too, despite my wishing he wouldn't. It was the best motivation I could have gotten. In my mind, Joe had risked freezing to death for my race, I wouldn't let him down. He needed me to go fast enough to let him keep a shuffle so he could make enough body heat for himself. The 3-4mph pace was killing me, but I just couldn't bear knowing how cold he was and how genuinely kind he was being. AS 17, closing in on 90 miles and I hovered near the fire, eating cookies and soup. I finally got the courage to head into the woods and freeze for a minute, then back to the fire just for a second and then I wanted to get moving. There wasn't much hope for me getting any better at this point, I just needed to get to the finish line. In a few more miles I could stop feeling terrible for Joe freezing for me and listening to my cries of pain and shivering and I could just get myself to the end with Dave. By the time we got to AS 18 I was done for. My pace had gone to pathetically slow and I could hardly function, I was almost falling asleep and/ or falling over. I dumped my water here, because I wasn't drinking it anyway (it was too cold to drink or hold at this point). I just carried the bottle for show because you have to. I put on Dave's hoodie on top of everything else and he dropped a hot hand in the back of my jacket which landed on my shoulders and it felt so good I left it there. We started moving, desperately slow. I knew when we hit pavement I'd have two terribly long miles to go. People were flying by now, my mind eating at me. I had pride in that I was still moving. Gratitude to Joe and to Dave, lovingly by my side supporting me by not overtly acknowledging everything that hurt me, since at that point breathing hurt me. My body was flooded with lactic acid and I was still shivering, dragging my feet with both of them numb and feeling like pounds of sharps glass grinding against my knees. The pavement stretched on and on. When we finally saw the track, a tear shed and I couldn't believe it. Logically I knew it would come, but even "just about a mile" (per a nice community member hanging out cheering us on Sunday morning) felt impossible. But We did it. Dave and I crossed the line at 26:10, Joe was waiting.

The kind volunteers got my hand cleaned up and ice on my gorgeous fat ankle. My hands looked like the Michelin tire guy but I was So happy. I'd made it and so grateful. A nap, bath, another nap, food and couple beers later and Pinhoti is in the books ya'll!!! Another memory. 

Friday, July 5, 2013

How Many Ways We Live

Think of the number of ways we metaphorically try to convince ourselves of the very fact that sometimes life sucks. For runners, its the old some days are better than others, but you always run... sometimes its a good apple, sometimes bad... when life hands you lemons.... I think you get the picture.

Life, living is hard... thats why we all get to have one another.... if we could only trust one another....

Well then, that would be something.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

A Change of Style, a Shift of Purpose

I always write in my blogs in random story structure, making the actual effort that goes into it a three to four hour commitment. Which is wonderful, but no longer something I have time to do. So instead I think I'd prefer this blog be a little shorter, easier to follow and with no specific theme, like running.

Running is clearly a top priority in my life, but there are also many others.
So now I can share within a few minutes, just as you can read within a few minutes.

2.5 weeks out from 20in24.... and much more news to come!


Monday, March 25, 2013

HAT 27.5 K

Wow, what an experience. Who would have thought you don't Have to finish something you start? It was childhood message, along with many other 'loving' things I "owned" that I never finished anything I started. I set out sometime in my teenage years to prove this wrong. And I've done that, and then gotten trapped by it. I know I can, so why force it.

At 26 years old I'm only starting to learn that it's up to me what I do. What my readers think of my writing, what my fellow runners think of me, what my friends think of me, as deeply routed as the belief is that I MUST be what I want them to believe me to be, I don't, and even more so, I can... change my mind?? Oh my god!

Long story short, I'm not that bad off. I've been recovering from 2012 for months while working on a few other things, like my inability to trust people and my need to outwardly struggle with my emotions in an attempt to push people away, a new job and some other great things. I mean this is life, whether or not we care to focus on the same things, we all deal with 'stuff'. We all have things we do, ways we act that aren't really great. It is a part of the human condition. Anyway, ya'll are reading to hear about my race so:

I didn't know about running HAT...the whole weekend got to be a bit much, between everything else in life I just didn't know what to do. Most importantly I was afraid of putting my running back in the gutter, I just started to feel good again. I spoke to a friend a day or two before the race who suggested I let go of the "need to finish" and just enjoy it. Seemed simple, I mean thats why I do it, run ultras....right?

So I considered it and then I thought it was great idea. In the mean time another friend offered to come with me, I was so Excited! I rarely have friends say, "I would love to come to your race, it sounds like fun!" So it was decided, I was going to the run, then what? I left it TBD...

It was a cold morning, but sunny, the sun was warming us all, but the heat was flowing out of our bodies as we patiently bounced around at the start line. And then we were off. The first loop was 1.4 miles- I couldn't help but appreciate the spectator friendly course with a friend there. We came through the start area again 3.4 miles into the run and then headed off for loop 1 of 2- 13.7 miles.

It was amazing, the course I mean... but now I had caught up with Laura another runner I'd recently been in contact with and had offered emotional support as a fellow runner who nderstood my burn out. We ran together and chatted for a while when I looked ahead and saw Ms. Jackie Palmer, yet another amazing ultra runner I just haven't had the opportunity to see in quite a while so I picked up the pace to catch up and say hi. That lasted about a mile, when I decided there was no reason to be running that hard today so after our conversation I dropped back.

The course was gorgeous, my favorite style of trail: rolling hills, winding path with roots and rocks, ever changing ground... I was in heaven. In some time I passed through the aid station at picnic area and saw almost everyone else I was looking for that day. I chatted with Christian, said hi to Robert and his wife, who run the Picnic Area aid station annually, ran with AJ a bit. What a great run! Headed out of the aid station I got a peek at the sweatshirt you get for finishing the run. Suddenly I considered sticking out the 31.1 miles for the piece of clothing. I went back and forth as Laura and I climbed the following miles up to the start/ finish area.

Somewhere around 15 miles, I said to Laura, "this is has been wonderful, gorgeous day, gorgeous course, wonderful people, and I feel good. I think I'm going to go home." I was empowered by my own plan. I was going to go home and feel good, and continue my day with more friends and attend a birthday celebration with my boyfriend. I was happy, totally.

So when I got to the start/ finish area the aid station workers were looking to assist me, when I told them I was stopping, they attempted to convince me to "save my race" and I smiled and said "thank you so much, but my race doesn't need saving, I feel good and I'm going to stop now." And that was that, I went over and the told the race coordinators I was dropping and Kim and I headed home.

I had a wonderful time and wonderful day. Which I struggled with later, as expected... not finishing wasn't ALL that easy, but it was also nice to feel in charge of my running again, it had seemed as if I had run away from myself for a bit too long. So this is short and sweet, pretty basic lesson, that I needed to practice...

So Thank You to everyone I saw and spoke to and ran with and who volunteered etc...

Friday, March 8, 2013

Addendum: Paving a New Inention

I Am Running Hat 50K.... so there. (The "so there" is to me.... anyone reading this already knows most of my issues- or most issues of most runners is in their mind.... so I am now convinced thanks to a wonderful friend and some new people arriving conveniently into my life when they're most needed that I am running Hat.... YAY!) Thats all... oh I am also officially a certified running coach! Also Pretty Great....

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Paving a New Intention: Seneca Greenway 2013

This past weekend I took part in Seneca Greenway 50k starting down at Riley's Locke and ending in Damascus. The course was flip flopped form the former years secondary to growth of the race and parking issues. I was excited to run this race. This race alone was the one that got me hooked into ultras. I met so many wonderful people last year running and talking. I remember the struggle, the 6ish miles in the pouring rain before the race evan began and then the ever continuing miles and miles of trail. I remember the pain, the fatigue, everything. But it was fresh. To do something hard and new is exhilarating, there is something satisfying in the achievement of surviving your own self-created challenge. What about after you've done it, over and over.... how marathons do you finish before you no longer question your passing the line, just simply the time it takes you?

So, without sounding painfully conceded, I have no doubt in my personal ability to complete 31+ miles of a 50K on the Seneca Greenway trail. With the exception of blowing my electrolytes by making some terrible known decisions or having a physical accident/ injury occur, there is no reason I can't finish that distance, or even 50, or even 100 miles at this point in time. It changes the game. It changes the playing field in your heart and mind. I don't run to win, and I don't even allow myself to race myself.

I spent the last 4+ years learning how not to compete and to just enjoy the ride (in life), all of it, which still takes practice. So when you put yourself on the ride over and over, the ride everyone else tells you you have to be crazy to be on, you wonder. The more time you spend there, the more times you think, "hmmm, perhaps its true, this is F%#*ing insane."

My 2012 running season was profound, to me. Whatever any one else thinks is irrelevant to this posting, to me- I amazed myself. I built a foundation of strength I didn't know existed, but now its there.  I burnt out by the end of the year, fairly enough I'd say. But now I am progressing again with my training, only I am confused on my intention.

I never meant to win last year, I never even meant to place, just simply to complete that which I said I would do. I was to explore my abilities. And I did.

Now, what is the goal? What is the purpose? I'm 26 y/o, I'm in no position in my life to claim stability. Last year I was working and training. I was single and committed.

Fast fwd: 2013: I am not single, I have a job I'm proud of and committed to doing my best at, and I also like to give a variety of my time to help out some amazing ppl in Baltimore whom I hold close to my heart and in my other spare time, I do luckily still have some pretty amazing wait, where did the commitment go? I am NOT any less committed to my ultra running, in fact, I may actually be more committed simple due to the fact that I am always trying harder and harder to get in the time and the energy. Ok, but I was thought to maybe be able to "take the ultra-world by storm"... Be the "Next".... Whatever catch phrase is inspired by great achievements. Am I letting myself down? Am I letting others down?

I didn't, I haven't stopped wondering what I can/am able to do, but I wonder how and when, and in the mean time... for who. I LOVE to run, thats not in question. I love trails on warm sunny days. I love muddy runs, and obstacles of nature. I even like competition, but I do Not race, except for the last 200meters of any run ( I call that my speed training ;).)

So getting back to Seneca, not so bad a day, dreary with some random snow flakes floating around, but not TOO cold, roughly 36F with some mild winds. A nice 8am start, that I barely made it too thanks to my nerves making me a but careless. This was my first race of 2013, a test of my heart more than my body.

By mile 6, the course seemed endless. Worst of all, I've run that section of the course 3 times now and knew where I was, it felt like I was on a treadmill, going nowhere but giving everything I had. Eventually we got to aid station #1, I didn't even stop, I had calories on me and wasn't drinking much with the cold weather. Aid station #2 came after what felt like 2 hours, but that was only mile 11, It couldn't be 11am yet, could it? (I wore no watch and never ask what I don't need to know).

I already decided that if Dave, my support crew for the day was at mile 13, I would ask him to take me home. I don't know what I was thinking, I didn't see anyone I knew, the weather was blah, the trees still all wintery and dead, my attitude was trying.... but man... I just wanted to not be running 33ish miles, this is stupid, I thought. However, upon arrival to the AS @ mile 13, no Dave present. And the "which race are you in , marathon or 50K?" came... and of course I said 50K... off I headed to loop around the lake adding miles to my many miles. Running off I was angry with Dave for not taking me away but maybe he'd be there when I finished the loop I thought.

During the loop,  my stomach ached and groaned. I'd already needed to "pop-a-squat" for an hour or so, but the course was riddled with male runners and there was no greenery. The loop around the wide open lake was NOT the time. And now my stomach was talking.....I dropped my pace to an almost trot and just HAD to make it. Eventually, maybe as little as 15 min, but feeling closer to an hour my stomach felt better and my kidneys too. I kept on going. No Dave on the other end either. Confused and slightly annoyed I stopped, the race volunteers looked at me and pointed me to the course, asking if I needed anything. My mind screamed, "Yes, I need to stop running, this is insane, take me home!!" but I said "no" and jogged off on down the trail.

This second half or so of the race became continually easier. I wanted to stop so bad I was able to push myself. Recognizing the course was still the hardest part, followed closely by my need to pee, and then the cold that perpetually confused my body. I was hot centrally, but freezing at my extremities and every change I made just threw it back and forth.

In this half of the race I passed by the turn for the finish line for stone mill 50 miler and annoyance again took over.

I passed a girl who'd long past left me in the dust. I just hoped she felt alright. Soon enough I caught up with a very strong male runner who'd sprained his ankle a few hours back and was struggling for a decent finish. It occurred to me that I was running pretty well, not great. But I was moving steadily, still climbing all the hills and passing a number of people.

Eventually at the second of the next two aid stations, Dave was there. Now of course, I was having fun, in pain, tired and cold as the temperature continued to plummet and the wind picked up, but I was okay. I finally asked how much I had left. I was expecting 4miles (or more) to be the answer so when they calmly said I had only 1.5 miles to go, I took off running.... I was almost done.

I ran well, I felt considerably good. And then I saw the clock 5:30...40 minutes slower than last year, and last year I'd warmed up with 6 extra miles and run in the mud. Last year was last year though, and so I let it sink in, that I did well, for that day, I gave what I had and did what I came to do and most importantly what I said I would do. The job was complete. I was sad, sad that it felt like a job. I wanted to go home.

And so we did go home. Within in hours I remembered the run with happiness and content. Naturally I am very confused about why I was upset, or what my expectations are. Perhaps just growing pains? I mean you can't be a naive newbie forever. The knowledge of the pain and the reality of the run is very real. It's no longer a proof of ability, its... its....what? Fun...?? I'm just not sure, am I having fun? No one else can answer that but me... and I can't seem to.

I am questioning giving up my spot at Hat 50K, its a large race with a long wait list- People who really want to race or complete. As qualified as I may considered to be to run, even race it, I feel I should let someone whose heart is 100% there enjoy the day. But when I think about the run... I get excited and thrilled to be preparing for it. So.... no idea.... I am a mess, but at least a glorious beautiful mess with a very blessed life.

Hat 50K is still TBD. But more postings for sure .....I <3 running!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

All in Your Attitude

It's been too long. My blank page below awaits my thoughts eagerly. The keyboard clicks and clacks and my mind sinks into a world of words and confusion and one by one the words line up across the screen forming sentences, thoughts, ideas and context to my reader.

Writing is an art. There are many right and wrong ways but everything is soley dependant on perspective. What a comment! What in our lives is not dependant on our perspective. I mean at the end of the day, what we see, hear, feel, taste or otherwise experience is an extraordinary complicated mess of interpretation based soley off the firing of neurons and the connections that have been previously created, some inherently and other learned through time. Picturing the human brain firing up for a sentence is amazing. If you could watch me write this peice on a PET scan you would see colors in many areas of my brain. As I picture the picture that you're now seeing. We are curious creatures. Complex and simple simultaneously.

I end my time at Johns Hopkins Hospital today. As a goodbye to my first professional family, friends and mentors I find myself feeling torn apart and stronger than ever. I am excited to movc on, to take my career in the direction it is headed but leaving behind the comfort formed here is nostalgic.

For months I struggled, I prayed, I fought forward, wishing and hoping for this opportunity, and here it is. The time has come. In this moment, on this day, my attitude going forward must remain strong. Remain.... as if its been nearly that, haha. Often people tell me I am inspiring, or strong... and I love to hear it, but they don't see me collapsing behind every closed door.

I am strong, because I Will never give up. I do hope that that will to survive and progress is inspriring. I even hope that my humbling honesty allows people to feel safe in their own skin, to know that despite my achievements, despite the external, when I see myself, I do not feel strong, I do not feel inspiring, I do not feel like much at all. I feel like a child, searching desperately for a place of comfort.

What's wrong with that? Except that life has very few comfort zones. Life is tough, that's what makes it so damn beautiful. That is what makes getting up in the morning worth it. You get one, solitary lifetime to do anything and everything you want. The only things that block your path are your beliefs, your perspective, your thought patterns and those tiny little firing neuronal connections. You can change them.

Sometimes I don't know if people know that. You can change the patterns of how chemicals are released in your mind, you can change which  memories are triggered and what parts of your life become the basic groundwork. Thats all yours, the mind is maleable. How do we know this?

We know becuase there is disease, malfuntion of the body. By seeing and studying the ways the body breaks down, we get to see how it functions. The tough part is that the human brain is imcomparable to say the human knee. Even the knee is complex, but from soft tissue, bone and nerves to the atomic level of it functions, is comprehensible. The human brain however, has so many intricacies that try as we do, the list of ways things go awry is endless, and often difficult if not impossible to explain. Through disease of the mind we have learned of chemical changes, hormonal changes, neuronal changes, pressure changes, cellular changes, etc....

So, the point is, you're in control of your own being, your own thoughts, perspectives and what you show the world. But everyone has weaknesses, if they're viewed as weaknesses, for me they are my emotions. I feel, I feel too deeply, in my opinion and I despise feeling.... the good and the bad... they both make me very aware of my being- which is an uncomfortable state. Good feelings create fear of loss, bad feelings create fear of the endless abyss of fear. Fear itself, perpetuates Fear. And so you can totally immbolize a very powerful, strong being.

When I was living a life of nothing to lose, that freedom literally freed me. The past few months, I gave up my freedom- not literally but in my own attitude and perspective. By allowing myself to view my freedom as hindered I perperuated a fear cycle that continually pulls me back into its grips. Which, for the record, is highly annoying. There are only a few things in this life that truly scare me
1) ticks
2) abandonment
3) Purposeful deceit

Other than that... haha. Ok ok so these things are very unequal... but nonetheless quite real. Ticks are evil, that is my belief and I have no interest in thinking any different, period.

Abandonment is a bullshit thing to be afraid of, since I am not afraid of being alone, I am afraid of attachment and losing the object of attachment- One of the the known human qualities. If you never suffer from attachment and / or loss then you are an "enlightened being". Also, something I have come to believe. However, this one has ties in places in my body and my mind that can literally make me ill physically and mentally. Purposeful deceit stems from the idea, and also based on attachment, attachment to expectations.

Therefore, in summation to this highly random and somewhat wandering posting, I believe that it is time to change my attitude toward human suffering and instead of allowing it to produce fear, instead let it allow me to push further onward. I mean, seriously, I have some rather large goals that are hard for me to concieve at times.... I need to get to work. I don't have time to worry about every intricate matter of who comes and goes in my life. The Door to my life is an open one, come in anytime, have some coffee, tea or even lemonade, stay awhile with me. If you go, the door remains open. No friend, no lover, no foe shall ever need to worry about finding a key.

Oh, thats sounds so friendly, so calming, but highly unrealistic. Nonetheless I do hope one day that I have transformed my own mind and patterns enough to say that I can truly love and trust people without anxiety and fear of their leaving. I mean thats why medicine is so pleasant. You have the opportunity to love every human that comes through your door, with no attachment necessary, in fact contra-indicated. A safe haven for a loving soul who fears being ripped to shreads by deceit and abdonment.

Well, I just ran out of steam, which is good, because you've likely lost track of where this is headed, I know I have... just kidding. I just wanted to do some free writing, get some ideas out. I've been letting myself down lately, on a very personal level, and I just think its about time I stand up for myself. So thats how this started and thats how it is finishing.

Running @ Seneca Greenway 50K this weekend, nothing crazy, just a gorgeous long run with some good people.

Loving My Life, for ALL that it is <3