Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Moving Forward Part 1

For the past four or five years I have been in love with a sport that has taken me to many beautiful places and has introduced me to some of the most amazing people, who have helped shape my life.
I find myself now, 31 years old, filled with memories, and overflowing with dreams and passion. This path I set out upon many years ago has kept my soul and body fueled with an energy that is unmatched by any other.

 I no longer feel the need to race, to pressure my body into something it may not want to do. But rather to enjoy this gift with not only my feet but with my hands, my eyes, and most of all my heart.
After many difficulties the past year with a condition I developed, finishing races became harder and harder. I would show up to a race knowing that finishing was a long shot but I would still show, not to pin my bib number on, not to toe the line or even to show how tough I was. I was there to see a wonderful new place and most of all, I was there to see my family, the people I love most.

Time and time again the race would start, adrenaline would pump through my entire self as goosebumps covered my body. I would howl to the earth and feel amazing, running hard, pushing my body to stay in the front of the pack. As the day would progress my body would feel stronger and stronger, until suddenly my body would slam into a "brick wall". Cramping muscles would be the start, followed by a sensation of my internal organs boiling. Soon after, uncontrolled vomiting would occur, accompanied by bloody urine and then standing would become difficult. I would always have to push through to the next aid station as my vision would come and go and my limbs would go numb. Rhabdomyolysis is what my Doctor diagnosed me with.

This dark place became home for many days, weeks, and even months after most races. I tried to find home and comfort  in this pain, this darkness. But as I did I found myself losing myself, losing the reason I followed this path to begin with, losing the purpose of my journey.

The fun was gone.

As the races came and went, months went by, and my running took a backseat to work and other hobbies, snowboarding, climbing and art. All these other hobbies brought me a lot of joy but something was missing..


I awoke one morning after a night of very surreal dreams, and decided to join my friends in the Copper Canyons of Mexico for my fourth and last year at the Copper Canyon Ultra Marathon. How fitting would it be to run my last race in the same place I ran my first. I booked flights and organized a ride, next thing i knew i was on my way to the place where my spirit feels so alive and at home..

One night we were at our home at Entre Amigos, a hostel in Urique MX, we all piled into the kitchen and began to share tequila, stories,and ourselves.. We went around the room introducing ourselves.. Each person said their piece, until finally it was my turn... i stood up from where i was sitting, on the cold tile floor and I looked at everyone in the room. I said something like this..."If you came here for a race, then you came for the wrong reason. The smallest part of this whole experience is the thing that brought us here... This moment right here, right now, tonight is what its all about. Enjoy this moment.. We are all family, We are home and i am honored to have all you here. Welcome.. and thank you.."

In that moment many things clicked, I started to feel it again, the reason I travel, the reason I race, and the reason I run.

I was never supposed to be about what races I have finished or the places I came in. Some where along the way I became lost, and got caught up in "someone elses race". My race was never about any of those things, my goal always use to be to have the most fun, help as many as I could and smile more than anyone else. And if I succeeded in that, then I would win...

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