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

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Observation of my clouded mind.

Thoughts are floating in my head without stopping, without letting me grab them by the tail. Just like minutes in life – rush, rush ahead, no time to stop. I need a tool to have them slow down. Thoughts, not minutes. So I go for a run.

I ran today. My 5th time since the injury, and second that I can somewhat loosely call a run. It brought a bit of an order to the crazy race that was happening in my mind. Running is my meditation. Not my fitness exercise, but completely out-of-this world experience. In the days I taught Bikram yoga back here I would upset the studio owners by saying to students in a class – yoga is what I do for my health, running is what I do for my soul. Everything is backwards for me. But it works in my world.

I had been going out to run every other day, from 4 misery miles first time on Tuesday the week before to 8 miles of sheer happiness past Tuesday. It’s been practically pre-set for me: I cross-train 4 times a week. I like when life tells me what to do and I don’t have to make an extra decision. My gym membership, the cheapest they have, allows me 4 days of access, so here I am, perfectly scheduled. Two and half hours cardio machines on Mon-Wed-Fri-Sun and visit to Tryon park on Tue-Thu-Sat. Visit to trails. My trails.

I run with a newly developed style, trying to avoid pain and to not make my injury worse, as well as with newly developed appreciation for it. I am in no hurry anymore, nor can I be right now. I enjoy hearing my footsteps falling and looking around. Imagining even for a moment I might not be able to run is scary. I am glad I am capable of loving it even if not training hard for a specific purpose. Just for the hell of it. For the beauty of simple movement…

I saw a young woman on my second run. We finished together – she hiking, I “running”. I happened to pass her a view times in our small park. She walked over to me and said – you inspired me to try trail running. My face lit up. Me, her? Not that I was cruising along with a gate of a gazelle, but me, limping and covering grimace of pain with a prototype of a smile? Some said it here – inspiration…I used to not like this word much. I used to think of it as something not quite real. How can a normal person inspire anybody? The past two seminars I went to opened my eyes. I am happy I can inspire someone, and I will try to do my best to continue to. I will also continue to be inspired by normal people, draw my own strength from them. The first time I saw WS100 2002 video with Scott Jurek and Ann Trason – how intense, how raw those guys are. First time I saw a woman who missed 30hr cut off by 1 min… What’s more inspiring? What does it matter?

Humility. I couldn’t comment, Craig, because I couldn’t gather all my thought together in one sitting. I still can’t. Humility taught by running. Days when you get injured, when plan doesn’t pan out, when something else happens…and suddenly you are not invincible. Was I ever? The lessons that are given to me in races. During runs. But mostly – thrown at me by life. Would we be able to appreciate life if it were easy?

I wrote a letter to Jake today. Jake is a best friend of Alex in his school right now. Jake sent us a letter a month ago, but we never wrote him back. Honestly, often I am lost at what to write to my own son. Humility, lessons…the tight connection of a small things going on in the family and the offset of wildness in our teens…We met Jake when we went to see Alex. Great kid. They are all great kids there, just lost. I am looking at some weirdo-looking punk in his pants down and music blaring walking on the street – and I am thinking: you are so insecure, baby, come, you just need a hug…a hug from your mama and a look inside your own soul.

I finished reading a book “Come back” by Clare and Mia Fontaine. A book about this school, kid like Alex and Jake, a real story. My heart was tight the whole 3 days I couldn’t put this book down. How I wish I had seeing it before. How much better I understand so many tears our kids cried the whole time we were at the seminar. The grasp they held us, the clinging. Simple life, rules…and removal of obvious from the life they once knew, parents and their love. How it missed now. How it actually always is missed…

I rediscover a lot in my runs these days. My lungs for one. How they can breathe freely. How uphills are not a big deal, even if you basically hopping on one leg. What is different this time for me, how can I be sure it’s finally for good? I made a choice to quit smoking. Not “1 a day” or “3 a week” or “stop for 2 weeks before a race”. It wasn’t “I have to”, or “I was forced to or not to”. I made a choice. How much power in those words. That and the fact that I made a choice together with my son. I intend to keep it.

Not all is that simple, or rather, not all choices are made at once. I am still battling bulimia. Not really fighting yet, but admitting and accepting. One step at a time, I will come around it soon. I know once I make a decision, it will not need a fight. Two issues lingering together for over 20 years. I am finally being accountable for both of them. I am stopping the blame circle of abused childhood, parents, rape, lies, harsh words…What happened were mere events, what is now is how I respond to them, what choice do I make for myself. I want myself healthy in every possible way. Only this way I can have healthy relationships with my kids, my family…I called my parents a day after Discovery seminar and told them I love them. No past. We can always build new relationship; it’s never too late…

I went to see a doctor for my hamstring today. A doctor that was sent by an angel Lisa Bliss. Lisa is an avid ultra-gal, a Marathon Maniac and a Doctor. Who can be better qualified to figure things out for me? After initial communications by emails and virtual exams she set me up with her good friend – sport medicine guru in Portland. He is a sweetheart. How can he be not if he let me run? I always fall for doctors who don’t go “you do what?”. Obviously, he is a friend of Lisa…So after some pocking and talking we came to conclusion the tears were minimal, the pain stays due to tendinosis as a result of lingering irritation after inflammation, and I can x-train, and in a week embrace my training back, albeit slowly. Lo and behold, I’ll be back in no time, no intervention needed. As well as pacing poor Rob and kicking his butt, my favorite thing on Earth. Hey, I also get to see a sunrise over Mt. Rainier from the Thorp Mt! How cool is that!

I’ll keep my blog. No reasons not to. First of all, it does help me to put my thoughts in some kind of order, even if a bit and for a short period of time. Otherwise, they’d keep floating like crazy, passing me by. Second, once they (thoughts) are on paper, they feel rock-solid. No stepping back. Accountability in a pure way. And last, but not least – you, my friends. I know how much happiness it brings to me to read about your endeavors, your lives, your thought process. I know how often I can relate to something said in a post by someone, and sigh – I am not alone, somebody else does that, thinks that…How I draw an inspiration from you overcoming an obstacle, training for a race or enjoying everyday’s life. I seek advice and steal ideas. So if there is a slim chance someone may find one of those things in my posts – my presence here is a little more meaningful. That is if ameaning can be found in a mess of ruuning thoughts:)

In a blog-world I have a feeling of belonging. And no matter how strong a person is – it is important to belong.


Donald said...

Hey - what hapopened? I didn't know you were back. My Bloglines isn't picking you up. Lucky for me I happened to stop by.

Run and blog and do whatever else you need to do on your own terms, Olga. You can't try to satisfy some nebulous group of readers any more than you can please everyone in your daily life.

Anonymous said...


Many of the things that are wrong with us all could be made better by knowing we are accepted and loved. Sometimes I think a hug would make lots of things better. Won't solve everything but wouldn't hurt anything either.

Wasn't I the one panting like smoker when you were in Dallas? Something about that doesn't see quite fair.

backofpack said...

Olga, once again your post touches me...those thoughts whirling around in your head are powerful and I'm glad you share them with us.

"And last, but not least – you, my friends. I know how much happiness it brings to me to read about your endeavors, your lives, your thought process. I know how often I can relate to something said in a post by someone, and sigh – I am not alone, somebody else does that, thinks that…How I draw an inspiration from you overcoming an obstacle, training for a race or enjoying everyday’s life. I seek advice and steal ideas. So if there is a slim chance someone may find one of those things in my posts – my presence here is a little more meaningful."

That is exactly what it's all about - at least for me, and apparently for you too!

Robb said...

I admire you Olga - not only because of your incredible accomplishments as a runner but moreso because of the person you've become and how you've come to process the stuff of life.

Heal well.

Ryan said...

Very moving! You inspired me to live life to the fullest!! Knowing you have succeeded some many times makes my feel comfortable that I can succeed too! Thank you for your guidance and motivation!

Keep on running and blogging!!!

Sarah said...

Thanks again for sharing your soul in another thought-provoking post. You definitely belong, Olga! I have to admit I miss seeing your smiling face on the main page of your old blog. The sheer joy it expressed was inspiring!

And glad to hear your injury is healing.

stephruns said...

Hi Olga,
do you know wayne dyer? i thought you might like what he says. he's got a new book out about Inspiration (Inspiration Your Ultimate Calling). He speaks a lot at PBS channel and I find his thoughts often very fulfilling. He reminds me of those little things in life that we tent to ignore. It's great listening to one of his podcasts and then to go out for a run:-)


Ben, aka BadBen said...

Your words move me. I appreciate you for being such a soulful and wonderful person. Please keep the "healing train" rolling along.
I'll see you at CCC100.

Happy trails,
Bad Ben

Jessica Deline said...

I couldn't agree with you more about the feeling of belonging in the blog world. And you certainly have a meaningful presence. I always appreciate insightful and soul reflecting posts like yours. If those don't help us learn something at least maybe they help us to do our own reflections which is always a good thing.

Ryan said...

Just re-wording my blotched comment...what I meant to write was:

Knowing you have succeeded so many times makes me feel confident that I can succeed too!

Sorry it was very early here, I needed my coffee =)

angie's pink fuzzy said...

here I am, sitting at my desk at work at lunch, tears streaming down my face. Olga, I don't really have words yet. They are there, deep inside me, way deep down inside me.

It sounds like you are finding your integrity, your "pink fuzzy", your Voice. What *you* want, and why. How to stay true to you.

Once again, thank you for sharing, I want to reach out across blog land and give you the biggest hug ever.
Love, Ang

jas said...

your posts continue to inspire and comfort me...thank you.

robtherunner said...

Thought provoking post and I am glad we will get the chance to talk in person next week. Maybe we can get to the lookout tower on Thorpe while the sun is rising.

Sarah Elaine said...

There are so many thoughts here, it is hard to collect my thoughts. I think you are a turning point in life somehow... between family, spirit and the physical... things are changing.

Two years ago, I was diagnosed with an eating disorder (mostly bulemia and compulsive eating). The road to health is long... and never-ending. I have to watch the over-training now... Often, people who are prone to one, are prone to the other.

You are not alone on this journey of yours.

matt said...

i am someone that finds inspiration, advice, thoughtfulness in your posts. i find your honesty to be very refreshing. the words you share here, in comments, and email make me think two, three, four times about what i am trying to do. that is golden to me.

Wes said...

Olga, you rock. I'm glad I came by to read your post. Enjoy your journey back to health...

Anonymous said...

you inspire me for my objective
thanks again!!!!

Team Ragan said...

A lot going on right now over here and your post reminded me of what i have to look forward to for 10 miles today. Anyway, just wanted to say thanks!

rick said...

"How can a normal person inspire anybody?" You're not exactly normal in my book:) But I know what you mean. Despite all the different trails that I've run, my favorite running route has always remained that flat stretch between Ft. Mason to the end of Crissy Field (near the SF side of the Golden Gate Bridge). Absolutely no hills or trails and often windy. But I absolutely love it because there are always people/activity there; runners, walkers, road bikers, mountain bikers, dogs, kids, soccer, volleyball players, etc, etc, etc. People being out, enjoying the day, sweating, using the space inspires me.

Post a Comment