Screaming and Running

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Desmond went screaming and running between his mom and dad in my backyard – screaming and running with his hands up in the air and the biggest smile you’ve ever seen.

I learned to crawl and then walk and now I can run!

I am doing this!

I can feel the wind in my hair!

This is so much fun!

We should all watch one year olds run more often. They are full of pure joy.

I had a flashback to last week, when I drove my car to the Dog Lake trailhead in Millcreek Canyon to run up to the lake with my dog. The lot was unusually crowded for mid-morning. There were tents and vans and several parking spaces full of numbered bags.

I asked an official looking guy, “What’s going on here?”

He said, “It’s the Wasatch 100!”

The Wasatch 100, “100 miles of heaven and hell,” is an endurance ultrarunning race that traverses the Wasatch mountains in Utah. This year, 334 runners started the race and 213 completed the course. The top female was from Boulder, Colorado, and she is 41.

I am 41.

I was not running 100 miles. I was running 7, and not entirely psyched about the climb.

Living in the mountains of Utah is humbling. Someone is always running a hundred miles, or running 4,000 feet up Mt. Timpanogos as you hike.

That day, I had a choice: I could compare myself to the Wasatch 100 runners and feel inferior, or I could think about the whole situation in a different way.

I am 41. I am done with compare and despair.

I said to the official guy, “Oh wow! So cool!”

He said, “Yeah, the first runners will be coming through soon!”

I said, “Wow! Amazing!”

And it is so amazing. People can do incredible, difficult things. Imagine how those runners manage their minds. Imagine the dedication and training that goes into their accomplishment. Imagine the peak condition of their bodies.

Blue and I took off on our run. The climb was challenging for me. We stopped at the lake and I ate some strawberry Shot Bloks and laughed as Blue motored far into the water.

img_4339After her swim, we started downhill. The trail was full of yellowing aspen trees, little wooden paths over water crossings, hardpacked dirt switchbacks, and roller coaster stretches through the pines.

I can’t believe I get to live here!

I can’t believe I get to do this!

Ultrarunners are on this trail!

This is so much fun!

And then… I threw my hands in the air and screamed.

OK, fine, I didn’t! LOL

But listen up, beautiful ultrahuman: Challenge yourself and be amazed. 

You can do incredible, difficult things. You don’t have to do them to prove anything to anyone. Do them for the joy. Do them because there’s a happy little kid inside of you that wants to keep growing.

Do them because when you’re done, it’s going to feel amazing to throw your hands in the air, smile your face off, and scream.

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