Wednesday, October 1, 2014

"Be a Hill Seeker"

When I saw the course map for the Spectacle Island Run

and found out that I'd be racing on trails, I was terrified. Fortunately, race director extraordinaire, J. Alain Ferry would not allow me to allow my fear to win out.

As we race walked hill after hill I would commented to the volunteers and myself, what goes up must come down, right? Interestingly enough, the downhills on the trails at times required more mindfulness given the terrain but it was a great feeling to experience the relief of the downhills after the uphills.

A moment to remember was when I gazed up at the last hill near the end of the race. I was hot and tired but knew there was nothing I could do but to finish the race that was set before me. What a wonderful metaphor for my life. I had no choice about the challenges that were set before me. I could only climb each hill one foot in front of the other knowing, even though I felt all alone at times, that I was in fact, never alone. On Sunday, it was wonderful to have Tom's hand to hold for that last uphill climb for support.

What a magnificent view from the summit. What a sense of accomplishment that I did not let that last hill intimidate me.

Since returning to the roads after 4/15/13, it's been an uphill climb for me to build strength, endurance, speed and confidence. From April until last September I was content to just be out on the roads again. I didn't challenge myself for endurance or speed as I'd run twice around the Reservoir. Little by little, the fire in my belly was lit and I resurrected the runner within me.

In twelve days I take my place at the start of the Tufts Health Plan 10K for Women. I will feel the swoosh of the downhill after using this past year and a half of an uphill climb to reclaim myself, my life, my body and me as a runner. It's great to be a hill seeker experiencing all that life has to offer both on and off the roads. When I cross that finish line, I will experience the incredible joy of having reached the summit of my running goal for this year.

The first 7 years of my healing odyssey are chronicled in Coming Home: A Memoir of Healing, Hope and Possibility available on Amazon. I donate 50% of royalty payments to The One Fund Boston to help survivors and their families who were affected by the tragic events of 4/15/13.

I'm working on my 2nd book, "Journey Well," due out later this year:

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