I am a girl who loves mountains, changing seasons, running, true backpacking, strong coffee, and knitting with high quality yarn.

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

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, March 01, 2006

Dealing with issues.

I am sorry if I gave you all idea of my running as a weird thing. In fact, I am sorry I followed this idea myself. This is not why I started running. This is not why I continued. It’s not even why I strive to better my performance. Running is supposed to be a stress reliever not an extra stress giver. While I was on strict cross-training diet, I was wondering why I dwell on little things when there are bigger problems in my life. Well, may be exactly because of that. I can’t seem to grasp any control of my life. Now Alex…I simply miss him terribly. I guess we are in denial of what was really happening, how much drug use he really did. It’s frightening. It can’t happen to my little baby, who couldn’t stand me crying and who looked at me with his blue eyes and promised he never did anything wrong. He is such a bright kid, with so much potential, and he’s lost time, and whether or not he finds himself is still a big question.
I tried to push my limits with races. I had never been a fast runner, nor will I ever be. I am a solid runner, and most importantly, fun runner. I wasn’t picked for the team because of my “amazing” running accomplishments, but because I am friendly and fun. Am I trying to hide behind improving performance my feelings? These are wrong reasons, and they are momentary.

Well, I'll just keep thinking of Johnny Lyon's expression: I don’t believe life is a journey, I believe it’s an experience. If you are always looking to an end, it will be difficult to see the beauty all around you everyday. I will keep my eyes open. I will try and see the beauty.

p.p.s. the post has been edited due to realizing how crazy it was to throw my personal depressed feelings on people around. It was a moment of weakness. It shall pass, thank you very much for your comments.


backofpack said...

Olga, self-image can be a harsh thing to live up to. I haven't known you a long time, but I think the hours we spent together last summer were kind of intense and bonding - because it was dark and we were tired, and a little giddy and we were sharing our life stories with each other. So in that short time, I feel like I got the "essence of Olga". Here's what I see when I look at you: a loving, loving woman, a fun woman, an emotional woman, someone with a will of iron, inner strength, a high achiever with high expectations, a good friend, and yes, in my book, a fantastic runner. Solid? Definitely. Fun and friendly? Positively. But also a great runner - someone who tackles a distance, gives it her all, pushes and pushes to get it done. Great does not equal fast - great is all of the above.

Now for Alex. He knows you love him, in fact I'm sure he knows the intensity of that love. I hope you realize that every single child walks on a razor-sharp edge every day - one little wobble, one wrong choice can send them spiralling out of control. It is a fear that every parent lives with. Sounds like he made some decisions that sent him tumbling. You are both in a tough spot - trying to pick up the pieces. Remember - it can be done, it has been done, and there are adults that we both admire that are living proof of it.

I wish I was there to run with you and give you a hug - so turn to the friends that are and let them help you. You don't have to be the strong one every single time! I'm pulling for you Olga!

Dirt Runner said...

You are no different from the rest of us running in this rat race. Most immigrants come to the US with the hopes of a better life. But the truth is that there is suffering here as well. Most people go through life hating their job, wanting more money, more success a bigger house, etc. Just remember these words..."and this to shall pass" It goes for both good times and bad times.

Donald said...

You're entitled to your down days and your "venting" posts just like everyone else, so don't feel bad about feeling that way.

As far as finding the perfect life...let me know when that happens. I haven't heard of anyone finding it yet.

jas said...

Olga, you are allowed to disect your life. If you are not questioning then you are not being an active participant. We can not always be were we want to be, but we can be happy with where we are at the moment and make moves towards a place we want to be (we may never get there, but the fact that you are making stides towards a better place is enough. That will lead to who knows where - just be open to other possibilities as they present themselves..challenges, growth, etc.). Sometimes it is hard to be happy with where you are at the moment, but the positive energy will be infectitious and make the rest of your life better (by association). Positive energy affects postiive change.

Now, as for you being down on yourself, that is a stage we all go through. Being big enough to ask friends and family for help through the dark times signals a big person and the ability to move beyond it. Keep trying to find answers instead of being bogged down and letting it take over your life. You are an amazing person with so many gifts to share...your love of life, laughter, energy, friendship...these are things that are priceless.

Hilda said...

There are so many things that we can't control that sometimes making many plans to the future leave us with a bad taste and disapointment that doesn't aloud us to see the good things that will still have.
I admire your courage to say this truth.
Olga if you are a nice runner, you are already helping and giving others inspiration and courage to continue, don't you see? That is a nice position in life.
Don't serve the God of money, make your own values to worth, you do have them.

psbowe said...

You've already gone above and beyond what some of us can only dream of, talk of, and wish of. I think you're just a bit too hard on yourself...which is good at times-it helps you get your ass out of bed everyday to do the things you need to do to get to that certain point or goal.

I can understand what you mean by "our English" and "connections".

Growing up on the rez speaking only my native lang until I started school, living w/o electricity, running water, and a small house that could easily pass up as a shed with an acoholic father. I'd say I've come along ways. I remind myself of that every time I start feeling disappointment in myself.

It'll all get better. Muah to you.

robtherunner said...

I am not sure if you really knew this, but I went through drug addiction when I was in my teens and went to drug rehab as well as another institution in the process. Drugs were more of a way for me to fit into this cruel world and it took quite awhile until I kicked the habit.

What made me get through that period of my life was my family and my friends and the realization that no matter how bad things got that they would not turn their backs on me. Perhaps I used my friends and family during those days because I felt insufficient in so many other areas of my life and perhaps that is what Alex is going through as well. It is important that you be honest with him and tell him what your feelings are and let him see that you struggle as well.

It seems that you have lost the joy in running and are pushing to try and be a more competitive runner and there is nothing wrong with that. Pushing the limits to find out where your limits are is a good thing, but don't let yourself think for one second that you have hit your limits because I know that you haven't. You know 100 milers are your money race and you have the ability to be competitive in every 100 miler in this country. Are you going to beat NIkki Kimball? Probably not, but that does not mean you are not a great runner. You are a solid runner with an upbeat friendly attitude that is infectious to all those you meet. This is what makes you a great runner.

angie's pink fuzzy said...

((hugs)) I read the unedited post from my Google reader account, and my heart aches for/with you. I know what it’s like to feel like your life is a big, infected wound. It feels miserable. It’s so hard, because life is so hard, and you make the best choices you can make at that point in your life, but then years later, feel so wrong about everything. It’s also hard, because no one teaches you how to live life with compassion for yourself, with love for yourself, with acceptance and grace. It took me two years of therapy to get to the point of being able to say that it's possible for me to have love, grace, compassion and acceptance for myself (although I don't necessarily believe it - but I can say it!), and I probably still have another two years to overcome the even deeper infected wounds that I am barely beginning to uncover. It’s like I got hurt, and just tried to put a bandage on it, without cleaning it and disinfecting it, and it’s been slowly getting worse and worse and I’m just now pulling off the bandage and encountering just how bad it is. And that's really really scary.

Okay, enough with the gross stuff :) I just wanted to say, I understand.

About running - it sounds like your running is about joy, about stress-relief, about release. There's sanity in running - sanity in pushing yourself to be better - sanity in hiding behind it - sanity in hiding in performance. Find the sanity in it.

About Alex - once again, there's sanity in your reaction and how you chose to deal with it - there's sanity in Alex's choices. Find the sanity.

I'm learning in my life, when I find the sanity, I find the key - then I learn why or how or because and then I can understand it. If it's my behavior, then I can choose to change it. If it's someone else's behavior, then I can understand it and have empathy for it.

Okay, I'm getting "preachy," I'll stop now. Just know I care :)

Anonymous said...


I didn't read your unedited post and that's ok. Just know that I have never thought of your running as a "weird thing". Nor do I think that it is "a moment of weakness" to share your "personal depressed feelings" with others. On the contrary, I admire you for it.

We all have wounds of one kind or another. We are not strong because we have no wounds, we are strong because when we are wounded, rather than give up, we work through them. Sharing our woundedness opens the door for others to speak about their own woundedness. There is healing in doing so.

Someone has said that when a sorrow is shared it is halved and when a joy is shared it is doubled. As far as I can tell that's part of the reason we were put here on the planet.

Sometimes we help others and sometimes they help us as we all work through our difficulties. In the economy of relationships that's how things are supposed to work. So sharing our feelings (even if they are depressed)is not weakness -- it is wisdom.

Feelings are not right or wrong they just are. We can't change them by denying that they exist. Expressing them is the healthiest thing we can do because once they are verbalized we can deal with them appropriately.

With all you are going through I would be worried more if you didn't have some depressed moments. Anyone in your situation would be. You are entitled to those feelings.

I am honored that you are willing to share the rough places you have experienced in recent days. I am humbled that others would be so free in sharing their own stories in response. The fact that they have done so in the comments to this post only serves to illustrate what I've been saying.

So feel free to share or not to share as you choose. Just know that you never have to apologize for doing so.

Know this: The measure of your worth is about so much more than your preformance in a race or the decisions made by your son.

For me life is both journey and experience. It's a journey because I believe we are all headed somewhere in this life. Without the journey there would be no experience. Without the experiences there would be no journey.

Life is a process of balancing our focus on the "here and now" of the present and the "there and then" of the future. If we fail to remember the destination we are shooting for then we can become so preoccupied with the present that we wander aimlessly. If we fail to remember to appreciate present experiences then we miss the joy of each step along the journey. And that would be a tragedy because every moment of life is precious.

So for me it's "both/and" not "either/or".

Lora said...

Lots of great love and advice above....but here's my two cents--
Go out and rent an hysterical movie and laugh your beejezus off!!

Gotta laugh through life too!!!! :)


Johnny Lyons said...

I believe you'll keep yourself open and trying to be true to yourself and your love, and hopefully answers will keep evolving.

And I belive you understood my expression correctly. Life's experience encompasses the journey. The journey is a facet we deal with and a resource to finding greater peace and love. For those of us that believe that we are only travelling to death and disintegration, then our journey is merely a fleeting moment in the irrelevancy of time. Our experience in this life is timeless and sensual, and does not depend upon the journey for its existence. (Sorry Olga, I had trouble restraining myself from responding to Craig's somewhat pointed and impersonal opinions of my idea :)) Is this comment an experience or a journey, or is it both ;)

Anonymous said...

Johnny Lyons -- I ran across your comment above last night. Thought it over. I was impersonal though that was not my intention. I hope you and Olga will accept my apology.

Anonymous said...


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