When something bad happens, you have three choices: let it define you, let it destroy you, or let it strengthen you.

The heart of the difference is not ability or even talent, but desire

The purpose of life is to discover and develop your gift. The meaning of life comes from sharing your gift with others. - David Viscott

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

When the Day is Over

This wonderful piece came over to our local ultra-email list from Allen Boyce, and while I am not 100% certain, I bet it's his poem - Allen is fam for writing words from the soul. I thought I'd share...

When the Day is Over – Ultra Sanity?

When the Day is over
And we look at what we’ve done
WE may of not of won a Pulitzer or Nobel Peace Prize
But at least we got in one more run.

The patents may of gotten filed on an invention or two or ten
Instead of making us rich they cost a small fortune,
but at least we can still run

Life isn’t always easy
But doesn’t help to _itch
Through mud, logs, rocks, creek and over roots
Til we loose footing stumbling over a grass covered ditch
- who put that there?

The partner you longed for may of materialized (or did not)
We live happily ever after or at home the noise level drives you out
(how sad) – we hope not!
The kids that are your everything – cause you to get grey hair & sometimes scream
But at least on the Trail you can still go out and roam for hours
And run and run and dream

ON the trail you ponder
The challenges that are the roller-coaster fun of Life
And be glad at end of effort and sweat
That you have great kids and a husband or a wife

The smiles they come back to you
As your skin and lips from cold are turning blue
The tough decisions that had to be pondered are now long gone
- Early on the trail
All you ponder now is mud, root, rain, snow, sleet and hail


At the end wiping shoes and into the 4X4 and off to home
Where all is warm (like hot shower) and cozy
The smiley face of the kiddos is something special again
And Life again looks fun and rosy

Problems melt away
All you see is friendly faces and happy thoughts as you hold little hands
Taking their crying and worries away
Could life be more grand?

Then there is cars breaking down and college bills to pay
What ever happened to those little kids
That only wanted to play
All day?
Accounts all are run out
But at least you can still get out
And run

It doesn’t take many bucks
A few pairs of shoes and mostly the guts
- To get out the door
How much easier it is to run - actually
Than the real tough challenges life always has in store

You think of friends and all they are going through
As sloshing through winter mud you’ve gone
The burden beneath your feet so light
Compared to some
You ponder thoughts for kids back from dates
Safe at home or in the dorm
You sleep restfully at last at night
Shoes to thin treads worn, now washed and hung

If very lucky
There is someone special right there too
Although thinking you are really, really crazy
Laughs and still love’s you

They come once in awhile to a race or two
And say, Wow how can you do that – isn’t there something more fun to do?
So you go golfing, and skiing and fishing and camping and water skiing too
But somehow before settling around the campfire
Or in the early morning light
You’re up and ready to get on the Trail again
It’s a feeling you cannot fight
Something the girls or son get up early too
And also hit the Trail just the spend the time with you

Then there are the night runs
Which really are a “hoot”
Hope there is a friend
It doesn’t seem so “abe” normal then
Anyone who runs ‘til midnight or after in the dark with you
Now that really is a friend – it’s something you do lightly or on a lark.

You must admit that after a cold winter run a shower never felt so good
Or in summer with pancakes by the camp cook
Wow and maple syrup and scramble eggs and bacon too
A cub of Java in and percolator pot – now black now that is a big deal
Neither pictures, writings, nor detailed presentations
Can describe such a perfect, imperfect meal

And when the real ultra race comes
It is always too soon to be ready (of course) it at least it seems
You wonder if you have a chance of making it
Or is this “reality” only in your dreams

You pack up and travel half the night at times
To some in some distance parking lot or campground
If it is nice - upon the ground
Or if it’s raining in a vehicle much to small
As you worry half the night if you’ll here the alarm
And wake up all
And did you eat too many carbs and drink too much fluid
And in the middle of the night
Have to make a nature call

The camaraderie cannot adequately be described
Getting to the race the night before
At the start (who’s really awake?)
Along the Trail (as the sun comes up and you begin to bake)
At each station along the way
Whether feeling great or ready to call a Medic
The other runners and these folks keep you pumped and pull you along somehow
How can you question if this is not a great thingy?
You’re here and you’re doing
WE can’t all be dingy?
You can do it you keep saying
As you run, walk, climb and keep swinging arms somehow
It is such a great feat
It has got to be neat
Forget the blood blisters and aching feet
And sweat and dirt
Got to keep going somehow
Got to keep going SOMEHOW

Are you ready to sign up NOW!

Don’t forget the Amazing VIEWs
The doing is what it is all about once the “GO” is said
As legs just keep on moving
As you join the physically (and Mentally?) dead

The Sunny peaks is gorgeous
And the next Station, “Oh that will be divine”
Pressing beyond exhaustion
As you think, “am I out of ever my lovin’ mind”
Is this the High of living?
Though along the trail you will be worn down low
Where does the Keep Going come form?
Who can really say or know
The smiles or encouragement by someone before you’d hardly know
Now like a best friend picks you up
And its Go Go Go….
Or consoles you when it …not yet ..No No No

Is it a spiritual thing?
Who can say?
There once were pioneers who came west
Often in small groups
Before the big rush that came later it is said
The Wildness is it all really gone
Or is it up the Trial at the next bend
They traveled behind wagons
Oxen or mule drain over peaks, and through creeks
And miles of rocky or dusty trail
Perhaps that would have been our beckoning
If we lived a generation back then
Not sure ‘cuz for us it’s just a weekend


Who are we? The dog lovers wonder
Or Volkswalkers as we go past running tether and yonder
WE look so sweaty and dead they are certain
At this pace we cannot last
We’ll all be panty, head over, to the last person

We press on to the Finish
With dark now close at hand
The river or lake or a shower or just a smile at the finish beckons
Our foot steps keep moving one over next over other
With ultra running sister, friend, competitor, brother

WE are a band, yet solitary, not the usual runner we all agree
In packs or alone we push on
Through the wilderness
As we are set free

A bear with cub that suddenly climbs a tree
At night a distant pack of coyote’s begins to howl
As the night chill come on
In the early morning light a small doe and her fawn
Look tentatively
Not knowing if we are friend (or foe)
We go by a bit slower and silently
Just to let them know


Wild turkey’s on the backside of MT Hood
On the edge of an abandoned orchard
The cow moose, elk herds grazing, a bighorn at the trail crest
And then the grizz in Montana
That we gave a wide berth
The cliffs of the Grand Canyon
The made us hug the trail wall so close
Down the south Kalibab and up the north Kalibab
Then back to Phantom Ranch, to Indian Garden and out Bright Angel in a Day beginning and ending in the Moonlight what could be more fun
Except the cliffs that kept us concentrating and often slow
The swim in the Colorado, Grande Rhonde,
Green River, Snake, White River ….
So nice at the end of the Trail however cold – what a way to go

WE are not escapist or are we?
The Adventuress of the new century?
Perhaps that’s a better surmise
The Trials up the Alps
Had to be run along with other sights in Austria
Is that a foolish thought?
- ‘asking after an epic scenic cruise of castles along the Rhine
Running the Alps a different sort of Adventure
A “real Life” painting in the mural of your mind at each trail View
More than a canvas in Louvre
The Trail becomes your, view your spirit
Something deep inside of you

Besides on any Weekend
What else are you going to DO?

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