I suppose it is customary to not only look backwards at the accomplishments we have made over the previous year, but to also determine if there is a new course of action we would like to take for the next. Hopefully, part of our decision making process for what we would like to accomplish in the new year is based somewhat on lessons we learned previously. Were there lessons learned in 2013? Were there ideas or experiences that we learned from, or in some cases – learned from only in hindsight? How would we like to proceed in the new year?
As an avid reader there are a couple of books or articles or parts of books that stick in my head because of the way the authors words resonated with me as a woman, athlete, mother etc, etc.The first book I read about running marathons was Marathon man by Dean Karnazes. I was stunned and awed that someone could do what he does! It lit a match in me that to this day I cannot really explain. How do you explain to someone who despises running the exhilaration you feel from pushing your body to what feels like the very end of your limits and the desire to continue to push those limits even further?
Later in the year I read Got to Live by Jay Danek. A man who worked through the deepest levels of depression and obesity and became a well known name in the ultra-running community due to his fortitude. I had the privilege of meeting this humble man at the same time as I met a woman by the name of Nikki Kimball! Nikki Kimball!! Okay, okay I understand! You are probably asking yourself, who in the world is Nikki Kimball right? Well, when I first started doing research on the ultra running community, I really did not necessarily want to read about men in their 20’s and 30’s. I wanted to read about other women, doing what many thought was absolutely IMPOSSIBLE until 1967 when Kathrine Switzer completed the Boston Marathon. Not only did I want to read about women distance runners, I wanted to read about those with some life under their belts rather than someone fresh out of college.
No offense to those women of course, but as a woman in her early 40’s I wanted to read and learn from other women with some maturity. Hence, Nikki Kimball came into my field of recognition and I began to read about her life. She too fought with horrible, life altering periods of depression and running has helped her pull through it. Then, the craziest thing happened! I was afforded the opportunity to MEET Nikki Kimball! It was all thanks to my crazy trail running friend who put in a good word for me and got me a sponsored 4 day running camp with some of the top elite running athletes in the country!! (Thanks to Team RWB for this!!) There was no way I would have been able to attend if not for that sponsorship!
I was able to shake hands with people like Darcy Africa, Max King, Sage Canaday, Jay Danek and last but certainly not least, Nikki Kimball. I even have a picture with her! I thought my heart was going to beat straight out of my chest that night! Take a look at the trailer for her video Finding Traction and tell me that you are NOT moved!! But, I digress!! What they all have in common is that they all push on and push through with perpetual forward motion. Every step forward brings you closer to your goals. Despite it all, we all have to keep keeping on and putting one foot in front of the other.
These people motivate me to keep trying. Their stories speak to me in a small little place somewhere in the depths of my person and tell me that with faith, hard work and lots and lots of perseverance we make steady progress forward towards our goals.The alternative……..is unacceptable.
As I look forward I see myself finishing a 50 miler, helping others in whatever way God allows, spreading the word about The Ragnar Relay in the Hill Country of Texas, Team RWB Ft. Hood, promoting healthy living & paying attention to what we put into our bodies, the good work being done at The Gallant Few and Run Ranger Run……plus The Army Marathon and their mission to give back to our community. Of course, there is always the work to be done of a mother with 3 smart little girls, a husband with untold potential and the youngest of my boys who will be 18 soon! So many stories to tell…….stay tuned!