Saturday, June 28, 2014

the darkness at the end of the tunnel: adrenaline recap

Sometimes you find yourself in the dark, running.
          ---Alone some where in the Arizona desert with a cool, high eighties wind blowing past me. The previous night's full moon left an eerie redness to the sky and tonight's sweet moon was bright enough to illuminate my sandy path. I turned off my headlamp after leaving the aid station and ran under the moonlight. Five more miles ahead until I reached the lights, the people, the chaos. ---

           Kara and I set out on Saturday to start a journey of forty miles. Despite the triple digit temperature and stomach and cramp issues, all decisions and mental roller-coasters were internal. The suffering we set forth to endure had a purpose, as it always does; whether known at the moment or casually forgotten during the purging of lunch items.
          The beginning was casual and warm. The middle was cooler with a punch and the run's nearing end was sometimes halted. With Kara throwing up all of her stomach's insides I was purging another currently pounding organ. If this is the therapy we seek, we are masochists by definition. For before reaching a state of cleansing, we run through discomfort, dark thoughts, heavy hearts, and a retreating ego. My heartbeats were pounding, and Kara was listening.

           Failure is self examined and self proclaimed. Though others can claim you have indeed failed, no one but yourself can truly own it. We manifest our failure and we bathe in it or seal it in an envelope; one that is later placed in a cardboard box that is taped shut and tossed in a lifeless attic. In ultra running I've learned that no one truly sees all, knows all, feels what you feel. No one knows your truth and why you are hurting. No one knows you were dying for the first half and finally found your heart's rhythm. You catch people at aid stations but there's a huge portion missing; kind of like life. Kara's side of this story could quite possibly be painted a different color for though we shared an experience, a run... hours, we've experience a world of difference.
          Life has a million eyes upon it. Thousands of stories to recap the same damned mile, the same drop, the same checkpoint.
 A failed race. A failed attempt. A failed love. 
I do not accept it as such.

All things that look disastrous and chaotic are icebergs holding a multitude of words underneath them.

All lead to a greater purging, healing, and growth.

Out of ashes is born true beauty.

I am racing life's race with a few pacers and a great crew. I am attempting to use all aid stations within reason and accepting that not all accept my chosen trails. My running through dark nights and free-falling from the summits is alarming, but it is also what's set me free.

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