the Rest of it

Going through phases of life and work feeling like it's a race. Chasing deadlines, rushing through errands, trying to catch up with the world. There's too much to do and never enough time. Stuck in traffic, hurrying to get nowhere, missing out on everything. It's boring being so busy and never feeling like it's enough. This is what is so attractive about racing and even adventure running. Set up some arbitrary goal and once you cross that finish line it feels GOOD. Getting to one peak often brings into view another but it also opens up space to reset and redefine priorities. Distractions which fill up life and make us feel overwhelmed seem a helluva lot less tempting when you've tasted the rewards of reaching a goal. It suddenly becomes obvious to ignore the constantly bombarding peripheral impulses which tend to suffocate by posing as distractions that can insulate you from the demands of having agreed to take on more than you can handle. You run out of time by not taking the time to stop and be. Its not just about doing. Its about breathing. A rhythm without space between the beats is just noise. It takes confidence to stop drowning out insecurities and make room for the quiet spaces.


Twin Peaks Ultras

After flying home from two weeks in Nepal on Wednesday I was hungry to be back in the so cal mountains. I claimed my free entry to Twin Peaks 50 and two days later discovered how tough 50k can be on almost no training. My lungs were burning 1 mile into the climb up Indian Truck Trail out of Corona, following a pack of 5 leaders who were moving effortlessly away. I was already sweating profusely despite it still being dark. Already in survival mode at mile 10 dropping down into Trabuco Canyon getting passed by one then another runner I was forced to let go of what feeble attempts at competition I may have been dreaming of. Climbing the 8 miles (4000+ gain) out of Trabuco canyon towards Santiago peak my legs cramping and powerless. It's a fresh and raw feeling like my first 50k a couple years ago. Gritting my teeth, quads-a-blazing with pain, wondering how I would ever get my failing body to the finish. Then open my eyes and see an amazing view that I would've missed if not for the race. Low clouds rush into a canyon below, the deep orange sun streaking through the pines. After summiting and beginning a rocky descent I grapple with how far I have fallen from the seemingly invincible 100 mile training days a year ago when I was beginning to think 50k shouldn't really be considered an ultra. But ultimately I'm happy to be alive and in the mountains. I'm grateful my house didn't get destroyed in an earthquake. Starting to see that it's not all about being your fittest or racing to win. Sometimes you just step back and enjoy being out there even if you're not in shape. It's great to be a part of the community again, sitting at the finish with fellow sufferers cussing about how difficult the race was, listening to race director Jessica laughing on the radio than proudly announcing the mounting number of people who have succumbed and dropped from her race.

33 miles



Resilience as a State of Being

Several month after two major earthquakes rattled Nepal, the rebuilding has only just begun. Piles of rubble where temples used to be and skeleton-like frames of houses with the walls blown out, reveal how powerful the quakes must have been, from Kathmandu all the way up into the higher elevations. Those living in the hardest hit areas remark how for a month there were numerous aftershocks each day rating up to 5.0 or more. As the process of clearing rubble and trying to start over begins, buildings with cracks in the walls are still braced with long 2 x 4's, a desperate measure to help them hold together. Local Nepali's aren't out complaining or asking for a hand out. They smile and greet every passerby, earnestly recounting tales of those lost in the rubble when prompted, then persuasively returning to the task at hand. First and foremost they need to restore access routes for supplies, goods, and tourists(business). Young and old chip in and help clear trails to remote mountain villages which were cutoff by the many landslides that wiped out access to this steep volatile region. Resilience at it's finest. Women use head straps to carry 20-30lb rocks from the field to a road where groups of men smash the stones into form fitting shapes which they piece into the new cobblestone road. Their strength inspires me.