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, May 15, 2008

Write it down - make it happen.

I often get asked - and then lounge into explanation why is that I blog. Or why do I do emails. Why do I write - by the way, I never kept a diary.

There is a book I am reading now, "Write it down, make it happen". I'll look at the author later. It doesn't matter. I just had an urge to write for a moment. You know, when somebody tells me that my race reports and stories are engaging - I always say, I have very little idea what I'll write about and how it'll turn out. I say that I have my mind at the tip of my fingers. In fact, I had thoughts how I would start this post - and I am just bubbling now instead.

Yesterday I used a suggestion from this book to put down my goals - random, without thinking, without prioritizing, those far in the future and those hopefully much closer. The idea is when you see it on paper (screen) - you arrange steps to achieve them instead of been fearful.

Earlier today I found out Alex has been lying to me still and sneaking out for some things he shouldn't be. Not in "OMG, WTF" type of things, but it doesn't matter. Am I glad I put down in writing the rules and consequences. It doesn't make decisions any easier, but it does make me focus on thinking how to take steps for those decisions as opposed to frantically searching for options.

Back at Miwok when I had that call from ex raging and threatening and just plain crazy, while I WAS making immediate steps I could, I felt angry/frustrated/scared/sad and so on up until 3:30am. At that time I set down at the computer and wrote him an email. I didn't send it out, just saved it, and I had not said a single bad word in it, but I did outlined the steps in it I am ready to take for the future. I felt that much calmer.

Yesterday I finally looked up at Jemez 50M race website. My, what a nutcase of a run! Between 8,000 and over 10,000 feet (going up there 3 times), with total of 12,000 feet of gain, rugged trails, possibility of pulmonary edema (see my Leadville DNF), and it snowed there today! Gail claims it should take us at least 14 hrs to make it to the finish. When I work on a pace chart, I don't go backwards - I start from mile 1, look at elevation change and mileage and write down numbers that pop to my head, no science. I came up with 13 hrs. I have no expectation on it to really happen (after all, Zane Grey only had 11,000 feet of gain, it was lower in altitude, and it took me 12 and 13 hrs on each try), yet this is how I wrote my plan for Saturday.

I always was a "slave to lists" to "check" things off it. If my boss doesn't put it in writing and only tells me what to do - I won't do half of it, and I warned him at first interview and keep saying it all the time. I do carry a paper with pen when talk to him, but if he catches me in a hallway - he can forget he told me anything. Same goes for daily tasks. I may not return your call either if you don't email me to remind:)

This is totally random. Why write things down? It brings clarity to my head. Without putting it down I have a mess, a bunch of emotions, a "no direction", just something fuzzy. Once written in - even as random as they are now - I can think about it in order. Yup, I know it doesn't make sense to you what I just did, but it makes total sense to me.

By the way, it's not only me who thinks writing brings clarity. Apparently, it's a world old-known technique. Wish I read it earlier, I wouldn't have felt weird all this time! :)

Wasatach Goat Team t-shirts didn't make it on time for my race. Bummer, it would have suiting to wear THAT name running on THOSE mountains.

Donald laughs at me when I scold him with my WS100 comments - I should be a coach and get paid for cracking the whip. I should. I want to. It's on my list. Along with Gail's idea of training out-of-shape regular folks to start exercise and eating program. By the way, 12 total pounds down, I need to do some shopping (if find time and money). Along with Monika's idea to open yoga studio with her. And to become a personal trainer. And to quit academic science and move into something that will have me work with people, not with stupid tubes and pipette tips. Did I mention I wanted to learn French a long time ago? And take professional dance lessons? Gain back my fitness level eventually and run half-ass-2005? Organize about 5 more trail races in OR? I bet some of you even guessed what was number 1 on my list...Oh, yeah, it is all random, you ARE aware of it, right?

I have 3 greatest friends in the world. It is Mike, Gail and Monika. I want to thank them for always been here for me.

Stephen is so upset his Mother's day gift is not finished on time, it makes this present that much sweeter! He is sad I won't see it when it's ready tomorrow...

Alex has to make his own choices. Life is a continuous thread of decision making. Every day, every moment, you need to stop, think and make a decision. And then next minute (and often second) make another one. Never a lazy, dull moment. I know I am responsible for every one, even not so very "perfect, correct and right" one myself.

Now I can go to sleep. May be I'll delete it tomorrow before I leave. I did say I am going to New Mexico for a race, didn't I?

Friday: Morning is wiser than night (yet another Russian saying). It's a beautiful day outside. And how is that for my Saturday prediction?
Today the challenges that you face are more mental than physical. You'll have to know what is right for you and stick to your plans. A good thing for you to remember is that you do have the strength to stay committed to what you want. You have a huge amount of strength inside of you, although you might have to go deep in order to find it! Time is on your side, so there is no need to push yourself too hard. Just take it slow, and you will make it!

Have a wonderful weekend, guys.


Jamie said...

So true, Olga. Writing definitely does bring clarity. This is exactly why many teachers these days (myself included) are having students do journal writing in their classes. It really does work wonders!

Best of luck in New Mexico and have fun!

Anonymous said...

What I like about your writing is that it's so spontaneous. Because of that it's always fresh, vital and alive. Your posts often leave me feeling that I’ve taken a deep breath of life.

If I can get what's bothering me down in writing, then I can usually deal with it. Writing somehow helps quantify the problem as something finite and measurable that can be handled rather than some vast, vague, infinite thing that I don’t know how to deal with.

Hope you have a great run this weekend

Sarah said...

:) :) : )

Have a great weekend!

Rooster said...

Have a great race this weekend! Congratulations on your 12 lb loss, that's very cool.....I told you looked great at the Mac. :)

Have fun!

Backofpack said...

I am a list maker - it clears my head of clutter and lets me get going. I'm also a note taker - that seems to cement it into my head better. Funny.

Have a great run this weekend!

CoyoteGirl said...

Wow Olga! Great post. It's just what I needed.

I want to quit my tech job and open that Yoga studio with you and your friend! :)

Eudemus said...

Another great post, Olga! I am always impressed by your ability to right such poignant essays that seem so unplanned. I am much more of the think, edit and re-edit type. However, I definitely agree about the clarifying nature of writing. See works on paper (or screen) always give me a much more objective perspective on any issues with which I am dealing.

Jon said...

Write it down - Make it happen.

Does that count if I write the words "Don't stop moving until 12 hours are up!" on my forehead for tomorrow at the Redmond Watershed Run?

Good luck at Jemez tomorrow!

Carilyn said...

Oh, I've been out of touch and I missed that you were going to run Jemez! Some of my running buddies are going and I would have loved for y'all to meet. That's what I got for not checking in with people! I know you won't get this until after you return, but I'm wishing you the best!

p.s. You would rock at any of those ideas you mentioned. It does seem like a waste to have someone like you stuck in a lab! The world needs you out and about!

Meghan said...

Good luck this weekend down in New Mexico! Have fun running over every piece of hill and mountain they have down there. I love this entry, by the way.


Thomas said...

You're a bit like Niamh. She's a compulsive list maker, and constantly writes things down. I have to admit, it usually gets things done, though.

Have a great race!

angie's pink fuzzy said...

i'm late, but wanted to comment...i'm right there with you in the writing, making it happen. typing is even better than writing long-hand because it engages both sides of your brain to work both hands.

hope all is well...

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