|My rented room in Sheffield England|
I had left a relationship back home which was starting to go sour. Very sour. Leaving the country was an ideal out for me and probably the best decision I have ever made in my life. But it was scary. I had never travelled solo before and although I had the support of one of the university professors to pick me up from the Manchester airport and give me a place to stay for a couple nights I was completely on my own.
|Me. 20 years younger.|
These minimal cash endeavors required creative traveling techniques: sleeping on beaches, in chicken infested campsites and on ferry life jacket boxes in lieu of even the cheapest of hotels. In order to afford the travel I remember eating little else but baguettes and cheese for ten days. I traveled by foot as much as possible suffering from huge blisters on my feet in Greece. My only possessions were a small school backpack and a sleeping bag. I washed my clothes in sinks, streams, and fountains. To say I was a minimal traveller would have been an understatement.
But to take the leap to travel on my own scared the shit out of me. I heard horror stories of single women travellers being attacked, raped or stranded. I knew at some point I would encounter uncomfortable situations and possible challenges and I had to be OK with that.
|My friends from Sheffield outside The Grindleford Cafe|
“ The jump is so frightening between where I am and where I want to be... because of all I may become I will close my eyes and leap!
~ Mary Ann Radmacher
So it seems fear alone is never a good enough reason not to do something.
I write about this now because I'm in a place today where I stand challenged. Its a similar situation in which the adventure of life is luring me in. I have opportunities to learn about myself and the person I'm becoming. I'm learning that growth doesn't stop at twenty-five or thirty or even fourty. I'm still growing. Mentally. Spiritually. Emotionally.
In nature, it seems that everything is either in the process of growing or dying. As long as I am alive I will continue to grow.
I will not use age as an excuse to give up on personal exploration and transformation. As human beings I believe the person we are today is different than our self of yesterday and we will be a new person tomorrow.
We can choose to explore our potential or ignore it.
So where am I going with all this?
I've made a decision about my 100 miler. Its neither going to be the Rio Del Lago or the Cool Moon. I've decided to run the most epic of epic races for me. The Pine to Palm 100 Mile Endurance Run. A remote and rugged point to point course traversing the Siskiyou Mountains Range in Southern Oregon taking place sometime in September 2013.
I decided I didn't want to run my first 100 in my own backyard. I need a race that will challenge me, inspire me, move me, and leave me with no questions of what I'm capable of. I have a feeling I will have no doubt what my potential is after a race like this. This will be the hardest race I've ever signed up for. Climbing three peaks and rated only slightly harder than The Western States and Tahoe Rim 100 by RealEndurance.com this race will be my benchmark. I will either not make the cutoff, die trying, or finish. I've ran some hilly courses in my life, but nothing like this. This will be my most challenging of races by far.
In a way I'm kind of done with being afraid. I need something big to test myself with and this could be it. That is, unless I finish this with more questions and decide I've just gotta try Badwater. Oh yeah. Right. Somehow, I don't think that's gonna happen.
So I'm waiting patiently for registration to open for the upcoming year. I'm still wrapping my head around this one, but I'm not afraid anymore and I'm ready to try.
|PINE TO PALM 100 MILE ENDURANCE RUN|
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