Friday, January 23, 2015

Doing What Isn't Easiest

Today is a rainy, cold day, just perfect for staying inside with a little baby, which is exactly what I'm doing.  She's been fed, laundry folded, dishes washed, and carpets vacuumed.  We'll go in a little bit to pick up the big kids in the carline, and, truth be told, I may just wear pajamas for the ride.

But my thoughts are on tomorrow.

This all-day rain is turning the trails into a muddy, sloppy mess. The trails will be tougher to navigate, the rocks slippery and dangerous.   Our feet will be soaked for most of the race.   Plus, the weather forecast calls for a cold start, near freezing.

I have a baby, don't I have an excuse to skip out on this race, just this once? I know how nice and warm and cozy the house will feel tomorrow, how sweet the baby will be as I snuggle with her. Yes, sometimes the juxtaposition of tough trail runner and new mom hits me hard. The contrast is so stark.

However, I know myself.  I know I will wake up and follow the plan I've made to get myself out of the door and away from her.  I will dig deep and do what's uncomfortable tomorrow FOR her.  I will do it so she knows one day, she can do something that challenges her too.   She will know she doesn't have to take the easy road.

I began my Mountain Mist journey 13 years ago and hope to achieve the high honor of 10 finishes next year.  I was 25 years old then, a young little thing and really free too.  I was at Auburn earning my Master's degree, not even married yet!   Through many changes in my life, this race remains a constant.  Tomorrow will mark the 11th time I've toed the start line of Mountain Mist (yes, I started it twice while pregnant).   It will hopefully mark my 9th finish.   I've gone through having 3 babies in that time, one only 7 months ago.   I can't expect this body to do the same thing it did at age 25, can I?

I know this.  I won't have an amazing time tomorrow.  That's okay.   I will DO SOMETHING.  I will not sit in my bathrobe as I have countless days since the baby's birth.   I will not give in to what is easiest.

Here is a quote I really like that speaks to doing something challenging.

"Did you not call this a glorious expedition? And wherefore was it glorious? Not because the way was smooth and placid as a southern sea, but because it was full of dangers and terror; because at every new incident your fortitude was to be called forth and your courage exhibited; because danger and death surrounded it, and these you were to brave and overcome. For this was it a glorious, for this was it an honourable undertaking."

--Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

I hope that tomorrow will not be smooth and placid.  Bring on the rain and mud and cold.  I can't wait for my fortitude to be called forth.  I want to do something that requires me to be courageous and brave.   So, good-bye Baby for the longest time I've left you yet.  Hello to adventure and to showing my kids what to do when they meet something tough.


  1. That's pretty hardcore! Good luck tomorrow!

  2. LOVE this one, my friend! I got chills as you talked about the juxtaposition between mommy and trail runner! How true!