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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

stairs...aka one step at a time...aka night before PEAK...aka excruciating vulnerability...

a metaphor...

walking up...then down 
and then back up again
and then back down

over and over
a series of concrete steps
choose to follow them
and they lead you right back where you started..

a metaphor..
for my life
three years have past
now I have come full circle

In terms of training I am in love with these stairs
what I have come to call
"the bowl"

Many come to the bowl
and decide
they can do only one side...
they call that

In terms of my life
I have come back to a point...
a point
where a few years ago I made a choice
to do only one side
and call it
because I did not have it in me
to do both

I am now at a point...
a point
I can continue
to do one
and call it


I can turn and face the other set of stairs...

I can climb them
turn at the top
head back down
face the other side
and do the same...
I can choose to call

Brene Brown shares the real definition of courage is that you have the heart to tell the story of who you are...
she says that courage is letting go of who you thought you should be and embracing vulnerability....
be who you are meant to be...

I am at a cross roads...
stronger than I have been
and yet my heart has never been more vulnerable...
more naked

I lost something I loved
if given the chance to reclaim it..
will I have the courage?

the stairs
a metaphor
for my life

a this moment...
I have decided to do both sides..
and call that
and that
well that
makes a difference

Thursday, May 16, 2013

pre PEAK musings

In one weeks time I will be on my way to PEAK with my egg crates and sleeping bag, my earplugs and wet wipes, my bag of protein bars and my band aids.  I will be setting myself up in the barn at Amee farm for my ten day vacation and yes to me running for ten days on those trails without a shower and basically one "real" meal a day is my idea of vacation.

I am ready
I have trained far more this year then last year
and more importantly I have set myself up for success
head down and mouth shut keep moving
that is my mantra...
Do not worry yourself with what anyone else does
Peak 500 
is me

I am the sole reason I will leave with a buckle
or a DNF
and it is NOT about the buckle....
I wear yoga pants what the heck am I gonna do with a buckle?

there is no one else that comes into the equation..
no one else matters
no one can help me on this one
a pacer is a great and wonderful thing
and I have had some of the best

but a pacer doesn't equal success
they can cajole
they can coddle
they can push
and they can try to talk you into going back out
in the end
only you can take that first step forward
only you decide whether or not to do the extra loop

I have been surprisingly relaxed and focused and not anxious this week..
I know it has to do with me getting full throttle back into the early am gym training,
as well as no ED or BDD issues as of late (anxiety brings them on) and well...
I am not anxious..
I know cutting myself off from social media has been so good for me...
yesterday Doc and Andy were exchanging emails and (this made me feel really good) Andy was worried when he tried to reach out to me about something on FB and saw I was off..
Doc told him I was just trying to get away from all the white noise and focus on the 500 and DR....

What I have realized is...
the world keeps on turning
whether or not I am on FB reading or replying to the threads...

I may not know what the DR community is discussing at the moment
and I won't be privy to any of the other runner's feelings and thoughts about the 500
nor the thoughts of others on who will or  won't finish..

although FB can be highly amusing
to be in the thick of it.... will not give me any edge over my own psyche..
it may just end up getting in the way of what needs to get done

I want to finish the 500
but I won't if I don't deserve that honor
I want to finish a summer DR
but as with the 500, unless I give myself freely
to the pain
to the self doubt
unless I go into both ready to face my weaknesses and fears
I will be the enemy that conquers me
not pain
not fear
nor self doubt
(or at times loathing)

nope I will be the reason I do not finish one or the other..
or both
there will be no excuses to make

head down
mouth shut

compete with honor
with grace

then and only then will I have a chance

Monday, May 13, 2013

doppelganger aka enough is enough you silly boob! aka it is time...

Sometimes I wish I could just cut myself a break...
but that would mean I was not being true to myself..

I am
and always will be
my harshest critic....
and for this..
I am thankful
because it means
I will call myself out when I deem it necessary
and when you read this blog post....
I think you will understand
why it is so very necessary

I have started to become the pictures I post on my FB profile and timeline...
instead of the me that is real...
the flesh and blood me..
the me that sometimes sits in her dirty pajamas picking her nose

I have allowed an app on my phone to have power over me
to whisper in my ear
you can't
you aren't
you will never be....
to say with sugar syrupy sweetness
It's ok that you did not finish
or worse
it's ok that you never started...
she is younger
she is what you never were
she is what you could never be

REAL ME has started to allow PROFILE ME to speak for us..
PROFILE ME posts things because she thinks others will find them
or adventurous
or because she thinks the light in the picture makes REAL ME look 38
PROFILE ME has been given authority to do this
because REAL ME has started to think
this is what people want me to be like
because this me is interesting
she does cool and amazing things 
she is funny and irreverent
all I have to do is
type in a funny status
or post a funny picture
and I will BE that person..

but I don't always feel witty 
or funny
sometimes I feel sad
and weak
and negative
and lately I have started to feel guilty about not being
ON 100% of the time
I have been driving myself to be something I am not

parts of REAL ME are in her..some of my best parts..
and parts of PROFILE ME are in me...some of her worst parts...
the line between us is getting too blurry...
or maybe
it is just me...
I am getting blurry
is becoming a shadow..
REAL ME is losing herself...

I know what many of you are probably thinking
Why can't she just continue to use FB...why does she have to make such a  big deal about this little app on her phone...why can't she just be like everyone else...just use FB for what it is...
a way to connect with people who have similar hobbies
and likes
and lifestyles...

Here is the problem people
I never have been able to lie to the one person who knows me
and that is

I have me...
it would have made a lot of thing easier in my life
if I could have just told myself what I wanted to hear...
the truth...
I am always aware of why I do things..
and I know...
at times
posts on FB
for ulterior motives

It is easy to create a persona on FB
not so in real life
I have good friends
not a lot
but the ones I have
the ones who know me
I know they love me for
for being REAL ME
and that love is there even though they have seen all my weakness first hand..

I know I am not perfect
but for some reason
feels the need to make REAL ME  perfect..

is messy
she is wrinkly
she is kind of flabby
she picks her nose
and farts like a truck driver
she stinks up the bathroom
she does not shower much
she colors her hair
she won't wear her glasses even though she can't read a damn word without them
(because she thinks they make her look old)
she can be quite stupid and lazy
and quick to judge
she can lose her patience easily
she can give up
she often runs away instead of facing her fears
she gets caught up in whats on the outside when she should be focusing on what is on the inside
she is jealous
she can ignore people when they reach out to her knowing what she is doing is wrong
she is
far from perfect


she is all I have

so I need to learn to love her
the Real Michelle
Profile Michelle
well she needs to go away...
until Real Michelle
to be true
to herself

Real Michelle has a lot of crap to work on..
and Profile Michelle...
well she just doesn't know how to get out of her own way...

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Living out loud..

I am coming from a place where there was only shadow with the occasional slant of light piercing the gloom...this was self imposed darkness though
as it is harder to see what is really going on if we keep it out of the light....

Secrets...I had many..
they kept me safe and secure and more importantly

my ED
my anxiety
my OCD
my cancer

I kept these things hidden
I played dumb
I changed the subject
I ignored
I lied
and in the end..
I ran away

whatever I needed to do to keep up the facade
to keep in control
to keep my secrets to myself

I hurt people
I hurt people I really loved

Today I live my life in the light
The knowledge that it is ok to struggle with an ED
it is ok that I can't have children
it is ok that I am often anxious
it is ok that I have strange rituals and that I am a little
well a little bit crazy at times
I am not perfect...

recently someone said to me

you are living your life out loud

yes...I guess I am
and so I say to you
I say it out loud
I say to you I am sorry
so very very sorry....

I am not afraid
I am the Queen of Crazy Town,
it is my burden to bear...
but you know what?
that load just seems to be getting a tiny bit lighter....

who would have ever guessed?

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Running with log aka for D

So I have been running ultras with my 2011 DR log since well right after DR11...I have had people mention to me that they are now seeing others running with a log and what do I think...
I think...
I honestly did not even realize that other people were doing this....I mean why would anyone want to run with a log?  An America flag..I get with a weighted vest...relatively new phenomenon but yeah I get that even....but a log? 
So why do I run with a log?
Lots of people ask me this at races and I usually just say

This is my DR log and I run with it to remember my friend D.

At the 2011DR  I was rushed to the hospital 30 something hours into the race. I fell and hit my head on a rock and my ax hit me in the back of my head. In the movie of that year's DR they show me being wheeled into the ambulance...
great my 2 minutes of fame and I am strapped to one of those board thingies...

Why the log? What did it have to do with DR? Well the log was something we had to cut and carry up the is log in the pic above...

I didn't even know where the log was when we were on our way out of Pittsfield
as I was out cold when they took me off the mountain and in the ambulance I was an incoherent mess...
So when Kevin and I were driving home after I was released from the hospital and slept a few hours he pulled over to retrieve the log that he told me he had thrown out of my pack when the ambulance took me away....
I was like
what the hell are you doing?!?!
I want nothing from this race...
I do not want to remember this weekend..

well I owe him...
because he knew I would want this piece of did he know? 
I guess because he knows me..

I left the day after being released, still battered and bruised, for Scotland...while I was away my friend Trooper Dave took the log and he made it into a piece of artwork...he burned all my tats into the log and a skull and well he just made it this beautiful thing..this thing that represented my failure to finish that DR but at the same time this thing came to represent
to represent

I did DR to challenge myself to live fully and to live well when I was unsure of my future...the log came to represent overcoming obstacles...being courageous...doing things that scared the hell out of me..embracing my weaknesses...wrapping my arms around them and holding them close...
whispering ...
you will not defeat me...
you will not win...
I will live well while I am here and I will not be afraid

So the log sat...until one day I found a CD my friend D made for me....
D with his photography
and his rock climbing
our midnight White Mountain hikes
and his mtn bike...he would ride with me while I ran miles of trails
his smile
his curly black hair
and beautiful sleeves
my friend
my confidant
my co-conspirator
I loved him....
but not enough
I refused when he asked...
I told him I was no ones savior
He couldn't stay
so he went back
and then he was gone..

I have this statue he gave me..
he said it reminded him of me..
he called me Meesha
he called me a little goat

The CD
...he made it for me after he came home from Africa..he surprised me on the day I was putting my beloved Newmie to sleep...he went to the vet with me..he sat on the I held Newmie in my arms crying saying goodbye...D sat by me...his foot touching my knee
and when it was over..
he drove me home...
as I cried myself to sleep...
he sat downstairs and made this CD...

When I found all came rushing back...
the guilt
the sadness
the loss...I missed him..and I thought of all the amazing things he would have brought into the world...into my life...if he was still here...I knew he would of LOVED DR...

There was a TARC 50k race the following weekend..I don't know why but I decided to run with my DR log...
run for D...
to remember him...I guess in a way to remind myself what I had that he did not...
and to remember it is a gift and I should not take it for granted...

So I run races with this log still...
I will continue to do this
because I will never
forget him...

I go to bed each night lying next to Doc
Doc knows about D
He understands...
I tell Doc
I tell him....
you would of liked D...I just know you would have..
and he understands why I feel like I do...
and D..I can only hope he sees
and he understands