If you're lucky enough to be in the mountains, you are lucky enough.
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
Monday, November 19, 2007
Belonging and Tagging
Meghan tagged me (thanks a lot, girl, I am a big fan of that, yeah, right, but it was a perfect timing to take my mind off), so here it goes: "tell 5 random facts about yourself and then tag 5 more people." It actually gave me a reason to find my own post from some time ago on 6 weird things about me, so you can look over there as well:)
1. I got a case of severe salmonella infection 2 days before my finals from Med School and spent the whole month on IV and bedpan with Professors coming to me to grade my knowledge. I got all "A's".
2. I spent my childhood climbing trees and roofs, and my former ex-brother-in-law had a nickname for me that is not easy to translate, but the idea is that you can always find me atop of some tree in a forest. Why do I have a fear of heights now?
3. I first ran away from home when I was 2 yo and the whole military village was hunting me down (my dad was a Commander of some air force division). I had been running away from home ever since:)
4. I held my first job when I was 10, and worked every summer on the field through 14 yo (as in picking potatoes, linen, strawberries, cherries, apples, and so on) until I got to work in a hospital as a nurse assistant (a janitor really and a bedpan changer, but loved it). 2 summers I spent in Siberia in working camps - no, I wasn't in jail, I was making a shitload of money by building roads with men by using mostly bear hands. That said, I love hard labor the most and hate desk jobs. I also love working with people and been a part of the team - that will be a point of next section of this post.
5. I am desperately in need to share the love that I have in my heart, and if I can't do it for whatever reason, I am like not living. I don't lie when I do love yet don't lie when I don't. It's all or nothing for me, and I got too much to share to hold it inside. May be that's why right now is a somewhat a depressing time...but it'll be over, as I am an optimist in life.
OK, now we can move one to Belonging. Saturday many, oh many of Montrail teammates got the news that was kind of rumoring around for a bit:
For 2008, we are able to support 15-20 athletes total for individual sponsorship. It's been decided to end the 88 person Montrail-Nathan Ultrarunning Team next year. This decision was based on our current staff size and marketing needs.
THANK YOU for running on the Montrail-Nathan 2007 Ultrarunning Team and promoting our brand and sponsor products. Many of you have been with Montrail for several years and I've enjoyed getting to know you. Your ultrarunning continues to inspire us and the sport (focusing on the Montrail Ultra Cup and the smaller team) remains the cornerstone of our event and athlete marketing strategy.
I had to process it for awhile. This information is not confidential (it wasn't labeled so in email) and is already posted by a few bloggers-teammates. I had a few feelings stir up. First of all, let me tell you, I feel absolutely grateful for having an opportunity to represent Montrail and its co-sponsors while enjoying running the trails. It's not often happens in life when the passion one has gets rewarded by such an awesome revenue. Secondly, and more importantly to me personally, due to the concept of the Team, I was able to form long-lasting friendships with people, either teammates or not, that I hope will last through years. Wearing that blue uniform gave us a sense of belonging and extra-support, and it also gave us a stepping stone to meet more runners, bring attention to trail running and ultrarunning, lend a helping hand and give lots of smiles and hugs. I don't feel like I have to walk away from the Team or from my "duties" of been an ambassador for the sport, but rather to strengthen the bond I developed over the years I spent on trails and the years I ran for Montrail. It's not the "perks" that'll be missed, but personal "cooing", if I even use the word correctly:) Neither one of those who stepped out of official Team will ever stop enjoying running, getting out in nature, and sharing passion for wilderness - nothing will ever change here. This is simply another turning point, another way to celebrate life and Peace In Your Heart. Thanks, Team. Family doesn't fall apart.
Regular life? The run on Sunday was tough. Adrien and Gail bailed out on us, so Mike and I were the only two left to brave the pouring rain on muddy trails of Forest Park. From the get go I had no feeling of ease and took it slow, and with every step it was actually getting harder. I got lots of explanations to it, but who needs them? I struggled through, with 1.5M to turn-around we ran into Sarah just as I was about to whine loudly, managed to have good time for a bit, but on the way back every muscle on the back of my legs tightened up and hurt so much, I wasn't talking. Now if you run with me, you'd know - me not talking spells trouble. Mike graciously took reins of a "bubbly philosopher" in his hands and entertained me for the whole 8 slow shuffling miles that were left out of 20 total, telling me so many stories, I don't think much left for me to know about. Although I always say that - yet there are always more to share! Despite what felt like moving at turtle speed, we got even splits (2 hrs out, 2 hrs back, ha!). I also got bone-chilled so much, I kept shivering for another 2 hrs (nothing new here, and fortunately for me Mike was way too familiar to this too). A Russian get-together for Crepes with caviar warmed me up later that day...
...until shortly after I went to bed, I got a phone call from my dear friend Anna sobbing that she wrecked her (absolutely brand new 2007 two weeks old) Mustang. I hardly put my pants on and drove to the place. She was ok, thank heaven. Her car wasn't, but who the heck cares??!! Although I did have to try and put it in her head. 2 hrs later, after police reports, alcohol tests, energy company visit (she hit a light pole as the car was skidding around on a long windy steep and wet downhill from OHSU and only by pure luck didn't go over the side of the hill) I made it home...and passed out on morning run. My eyes are still burning.
My eyes are still burning, and today was first time I cried in over a month. I am letting go and getting through some grieving, and may be realizing I wasn't allowing myself to go through. I have no clear vision of what I am grieving about, nothing that I could point at, but I feel sad. Lately I also felt lonely and scared, and only presence of my friends kept me afloat. But at times I feel I want to be alone and feel the pain. But may be not. I simply don't know...and today I am allowing myself to be OK with not knowing what to do next and how to feel.
Yeah, I know, it's silly, but I checked my horoscope today.
Your emotional vision is a perfect 20/20 today. You will finally see things in a clear, honest way. With little mystery left, the choice will be clear for you. Saying goodbye is surprisingly easy today when you know that this fork in the road holds two very rewarding (yet different) paths for each of you. You now see that staying on the same path is a mistake for one of you. You're entering a strong selfless phase that will keep your heart warm even when you're missing people you love.