Friday, August 20, 2010

i want my dream to become my reality.

so, this blog post is my contest entry for donald miller's living a better story seminar on sept 26-27 which is happening in a town that my heart is captured by, portland, oregon.

Living a Better Story Seminar from All Things Converge Podcast on Vimeo.

[i’d suggest playing sean carey's debut album to set the mood for this post.] : )

to start, these are the three reasons why i want to go to don’s seminar:
1. donald miller makes me curious. i don't know if i think of him as just a normal guy that can tell good stories or if i would be awkwardly starstruck. i'd like to find out by meeting him and enjoying a non-fat mocha with extra whipped cream together (if he's into that kinda thing).
2. i'm positive i would meet some fascinating people who might very well become characters in my story. plus, i want to set aside some space to think more concretely about how to make my aspirations a reality.
3. i’d say ‘yes!’ at any chance to go to pdx.
4. i've never won anything like this before and it would be pretty much super if by some miracle, i were selected. i think i would squeal silently and do a full body jump onto my bed, then go out and sprint until my heart felt it could explode & my legs became some derivative of a noodle.

on to the meat. the dream i want to become reality.
on september 13, 2010, i'm going to celebrate the two year anniversary of when hate became love. i didn't think that a spontaneous decision to drive to san francisco city hall at 4am on a saturday morning would wildly transform the me of two years ago and the me of today, nor did i think my body could do what it did that morning.

having never done (or desired to do) such a thing, i ran 12.4 miles from sf city hall to mill valley with endurance athlete charlie engle as he began his trek across the u.s. it was an astonishing personal accomplishment that i relished for weeks and that fueled me for even longer. and thus began my love of running and my life as a runner, an identity i would've never dreamed up for myself.

i know it’s been less than two years since that morning, but i have this dream.
(and it feels vulnerable to share it, b/c dreams are a precious thing. this one’s still tender to my heart and supple in my mind. but b/c this contest is about sharing the life that i want to it is.)

one aspect of the life i want to live in the next five or so years is one where i become a stellar runner, racing in some of the most difficult ultra endurance trail runs. i want to be one of the top asian-american endurance runners and land a sponsorship opportunity by either patagonia or the north face. :) (it would be so cool to be like krissy moehl or dean karnazes!) in my mind, this feels both daunting and inspiring!

the challenge?
i’m not your typical runner type. my overall height is (just under) 5’3”, average for a korean, but pretty darn short to compete against these really long-legged women. it means i need to run harder, faster, smarter if i want to stand a chance against the natural advantage that most of these women have.

the bigger challenge? i need to actually begin running these difficult ultra distance races. haha. for example, the race i definitely have my eye set on is the western states 100 mile endurance race where runners have a cumulative climb of 18,000 feet! i want to participate in it some time in the next couple years. to qualify, i need to run a certified 50 mile race under nine hour limit & then hope to God that i win a lottery ticket for entry that year. this means i should probably run my first 50K to start (which i do plan on doing this september). but to run a 50K well, i need to train more than i have been since most of these races involve quite a bit of elevation gain and loss.

thankfully, i have come to love the hills and hear them beckon me quite frequently. when i am in the hills running under the towering redwoods and on the beaten dirt path, i find solace, clarity, humility, and best of all, i find God there inter-weaved in everything.

and finally, the ultimate challenge...
for someone who thrives on spontaneity, passion, and exploration, i often jump from one thing to next after giving 100% of me to that thing. this life of running that i want to experience will require me to commit and stay committed. and that is a hard feat for me to overcome - the most difficult one of all. when my mind tells me i won’t make it or if races don’t result in the ranks i want, how will i stay focused and committed to my dream? i recognize that this process needs to be about just that - the process & not the outcome. the mental/physical/emotional/soul commitment will be key in continuing on my journey to become a great runner.

that’s my dream. what i’m doing with it right now is taking it literally one footstep at a time. i listen to my body and when it tells me i have unfinished business with alambique trail at wunderlich park, i go. i don’t know if i can make the 10-mile 1800’ ascent with no water after a long day at work, but i go. i trust that my body knows what it needs and what it’s capable of doing.

when running, i am humbled by:
the remarkable beauty of being out in nature
the silence of being in the wilderness
the physical ability to climb hills that once beat me down
the clarity that flows into my mind
the truth that percolates to my heart’s surface
the space to be exactly who i am and that i am loved as i am: sweaty, salty, imperfect, & happy as can be.

i want my story to be marked by the impossibles of hate becoming love, maxing out all of my own ability to be overtaken by divine power, & deep commitment to the things i love.

as all stories are, there are so many details that complete this picture. i hope donald miller (and crew) give me the opportunity to share them in person this september.

thank you for being here.


  1. Liz...I so enjoyed your post tonight...what a delight. If you are already coming to the seminar and you would like to save some money...I have a cozy place full of love waiting for your arrival:) I am so peaceful right now listening to Charlie right now feeling connected to you. I have faith in your dream and the beauty is that there is no doubt in my mind that you can live it out. Not to mention my brother-in-law is a vp rep for Brooks and I'm sure I could get you in front of them to start your sponsorships;) I would love to go to this with I will dream about it with you! Here's to meeting in person soon:) K

  2. Thank you. You inspire me and I'm in your prayer corner.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...