Rest: Phunt 50K

“I need to process this.”   That’s my standard line, when I don’t want to respond emotionally.   When, I’m tired.

This past week, the alarm would go off, and rather than play that snooze-alarm math, that both lets me sleep until the last possible moment, AND get ready without looking like my morning is happening at light speed, I simply rolled over.   I overslept for work THREE times this past week.  This is NOT like me.

I inherited my disposition to keep busy from my mom.  “NEVER sit before noon” is her mantra.  Even at 82.  Even when her daughter tells her to wait for her to arrange plowing vs. shoveling her monster driveway.  “I’ll rest after, Eva” she says.  “It’s better that way”.

If you cared to look, on any given day, you would see two emails that I send to myself every morning.  One is a very specific daily delineation of what I want to accomplish and the other is my weekly “Tetris” chart.  The latter, though less detailed, contains enough info that I can keep multiple plates spinning at the same time. This past week, I found myself simply changing the date on my to-do lists.   ‘I’ll get to that tomorrow’, I reasoned.

At the end of the week, the to-do list didn’t have the check marks I had intended.

I thought about calling in to work—just to catch up on sleep, and put a dent in the to-do's.  But, it is the end of the semester, and I have donated every plan and lunch period to working with kids.  Taking a day off will just make me busier when I return. 

The reality of racing this weekend filled me with dread.  “How am I going to stay awake for this car ride?”  “I don’t know if my legs can handle the trails”.  “Snow in the forecast!”  “I need to process this”.

I.  Was.  Tired. 

Fast forward to the starting line of the Phunt 50k.   This is a two-lap course, which prides itself on giving the runners a choice of completing one loop (25k—half crazy, according to the organizers), or two loops (full crazy).   Same medal.   They make it VERY difficult to go on, with the implication that if you are tired…it’s okay to stop.

That’s a dirty trick.

I know the lure of stopping; I’ve seen others rationalize it many times.  Rog and I will ask each other the same question when the pull to stop is strong:  “How will you feel about this tomorrow?”

‘Ok, girl…you want to process, now is the time” I said to myself at the starting line.  I took ten seconds.  TEN SECONDS.   I looked around, at the trails, the sun, at myself.   "You can do this.  Go find your happy."

And, I did.   I ran through mud, and sleet, and hail and snow; through a beautiful forest with unexpected covered bridges; over streams and rocks and roots.  I freed my mind, and let my body do what it loves.

I hit obstacles—mostly emotional.   But, I decided to handle them in the same way:  I would process.   I would think about how I would feel tomorrow, if I made a rash emotional response.   I would look around and see how lucky I am.  I would count and hold dear, my many blessings.  I learned, during this race, what is closest to my heart, and what I can, and more importantly, cannot let go of.

I did finish, and I did do two laps.  As I sat shivering in my car after the race, clutching my finisher medal, I thought about driving home.   I sat and processed the thought for a few minutes, asking, “How will I feel about this tomorrow?”.  Finally, I decided to check into a hotel room.  Mom was right; the rest is better that way.

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
2 Timothy 4:7


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