Monday, August 19, 2013

Training, Growing, Learning, and Loving

Who knew that training for this thing could change me so much as a person. I feel that more than ever I am conscious of what my body is doing, what I'm putting into it, the energy it is using and how it feels.

I'm running, swimming, crunching, stretching, hydrating, fueling, resting, jumping, and climbing for a large portion of every day. I never imagined that it would be so rewarding to dedicate myself to an endeavor like this. I'm spending so much time outside, under the sun, in nature, around people. It gives me a chance to feel very connected with everyone and everything around me.

It's easier and easier to reach out to those around me. Every runner on the road seems like a friend I haven't met yet. Every person on every trail I see presents an opportunity to say hello, to smile, to connect with another human being. We are the same species and we share this gorgeous planet. Why not lift each other up whenever we can?

I couldn't be more grateful for this experience. More than ever I feel "God" (aka love, the universe, Jesus, Allah, Ganesh, Shiva, Krishna, Amen Ra, whatever name you use) all around me. In the trees, in the sky, in the earth beneath my feet, in my fingertips, in the eyes of the clerk at the grocery store or the business man I am waiting on at my work.

I constantly find myself in awe of the beauty that has always existed, all around me, that I never fully appreciated until now. I wish there was a way to bottle this feeling and give it to everyone I meet.

Every day I get closer and closer to the launch date for my run and the reality of it becomes that much more present. The emotions it brings up are a cocktail of fear, excitement, happiness, doubt, and a kind of full-body bliss. I am charged with my purpose from head to toe.

Every step I take on my runs, I remind myself that I am not running for me. I am not running so that I can have this experience as another notch on my belt. I am running so that I can make a difference in the lives of others, and so that I can serve others.

I am running for veterans, that they might have resources available to them that they need in order to live healthy and happy lives. I'm running so that people are aware of the tremendous about of support that each and every veteran deserves from us. Whether or not we agree on the topic war, veterans are keeping everyone in this country safe by putting their lives on the line and by dedicating themselves to service. I am in awe of this commitment and what I am doing is nothing in comparison. For many reasons, there are veterans who are not being taken care of in the way that they deserve. They are our fellow Americans, our countrymen, our neighbors and our friends. It is our responsibility to take care of them because it is our obligation as good human beings to be compassionate and to care for those who need our help to the best of our ability.

I am running so that people can realize that they are capable of anything they put their mind to. I was not born a runner. I re-invented myself as one. Several years later, I am running across the United States. The truth is, I am not any more special or talented than anyone else.

My hope is to make the world a better place by inspiring others to make the world a better place.

If I can do it, anyone can.

Over and out.

Friday, August 9, 2013

What Training Looks Like

Training looks like a constant heap of sweaty workout clothes in my closet, shoes full of sand, blisters, sunburns, scrapes, smiling faces, days spent enjoying nature, vegan protein shakes, a lot of water, and alarm clocks always going off 2 hours before I'm ready to get up.

I absolutely love it.