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.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Belonging and Tagging

Or lets rather do tagging and Belonging:)

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.


Journey to a Centum said...

You've started a new chapter in your life Olga and like some really good books they sometimes take some time to develop. Keep your head up and your shoulders back. Share that smile of yours and be patient. You have a large community of runners here to support you. It sounds like you have started to process all that's gone on in your life and are letting go emotionally. That's really good! In my opinion you can't make the love you seek just appear instantly. It's something that's just going to happen over time. Until you meet Mr. Right I guess you will just need to settle for Mr. Right Now. I'm certain that Mr. Right is going to be one lucky guy but I think you need more time to heal before that meeting takes place.

Once a Montrail Runner always a Montrail runner. In my book anyway. Your running history speaks for itself. You were after all in the top 10 at WS 100 which makes you a running diva in my mind! Not to mention the numerous other events you have taken on and finished.

Hang in there my friend!


Unknown said...

With or without the Montrail team you are an integral part of the ultra running community. I look forward to being a part of the next chapter in your life and continuing to share dreams and aspirations whenever possible.

Backofpack said...

Wow, Eric and Rob used all my words. I will only add two things - we may be far away, but we are in your camp and share your love. And second, it is positively eerie how spot on your horoscope was today!

Sarah said...

It was good to see you on Sunday. I think Montrail has made a bad decision. Poo on them. : ) But you still have your team here and on the trails! : ) You've had a lot to process in the past year, but I know you'll come through okay on the other side. : )

Ronda said...

Olga you don't let fear and insecurity run your life. No matter what the circumstances may be you don't take the path of least resistance or what's most confortable because you fear the path or are insecure about the outcome. To me that is the definition of strength! Too many times folks make decisions about issues in their lives so they are not uncomfortable because they fear the unknown or scrutany of others. Because you have the strength to run your life focusing on your dreams and truths you will find peace and be can know in your heart you have strength and perseverance!

Meghan said...

Wow, that's amazing that you are afraid of heights now, but you were a heights lover as a child!

Sorry to hear about the Montrail changes. Everyone seems to be taking it very graciously, though.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family, Olga! Share that love with everyone this weekend!

Take good care,

Meghan said...

Wow, that's amazing that you are afraid of heights now, but you were a heights lover as a child!

Sorry to hear about the Montrail changes. Everyone seems to be taking it very graciously, though.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family, Olga! Share that love with everyone this weekend!

Take good care,

meredith said...


As I told Paul, I feel so blessed that this concept of team has really created a small family. I feel so fortunate that the Montrail blog world has brought me to yours, and feel richer for reading your posts. You are so true and honest; what a gift. May your heart warm in Thanksgiving with the thoughts that your "teammate" is thinking warmly of you!!
my best! Mer

wendy said...

I'm catching up after several weeks of my crazy schedule, so I have lots to comment on. =)

First, I'm totally bummed about the montrail deal, but I'm glad you have created that close-knit family with so many teammates.

Next, I love all the pics - I swear, you post some of the best photos ever. I loved the Autumn Leaves recap, and maybe I'll tag along next year.

Last, I could kill you for suggesting 17.5 isn't truly "long" =) I know, it's all relative, right?

Happy Thankgiving, Olga!!

Bryon Powell said...

While we'd met before when doing a practice climb up Catherine's before Wasatch 2005, it was great to get to know you much better in 2007 as part of the team. I definitely met some awesome new people through the team as well - Andy J-W, Matt Hart, and just this weekend, the highly entertaining Sean Meissner, just to name a few. While I've always found ultrarunners (elite throuh back of the packers) to be highly approachable, the team aspect was something more. I guess the responsibility now rests on my shoulders to make all ultrarunners part of my team. :-)

With all my thanks to those I've met and those who I'll be fortunate enough to meet in the future,

Bryon Powell said...
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Bryon Powell said...
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Lisa Smith-Batchen said...

great things are just around the corner for you:)
happy thanksgiving

sea legs girl said...

Sorry to hear about the Montrail team. I have a feeling, though, that you won't let it affect your joy of running.
I know exactly what you mean about hard labor jobs. What an amazing experience you must have had in Siberia. Thanks for the stories.

onepinkfuzzy said...

hey girlie, it's good to cry. it sounds like you are doing a lot of good processing right now and moving your life in a direction that *you* want it to go.


christine said...

happy thanksgiving olga!

aka Moogy said...

The Team can now be comprised of people that you have touched over the years, people who have changed because of something you said or did...including me! Seya out there soon Olga and Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. Hugs...

shawn said...

The horoscope prediction sounds spot on. That's not silly, it's chilly (you know, like gives you chills) :)

I'm with you on the labor jobs. I miss my summers working in the fields, getting up early, coming home filthy, learning some filthy jokes along the way, .... sounds a lot like ultra running.

Happy T-day weekend!