Monday, June 27, 2011

squaw valley | western states

this time last year was my first experience witnessing a 100-mile ultramarathon. it was completely exhilarating and inspiring to be at western states. while directing traffic at the robinson flat aid station (mile 31), i watched wave after wave of crew members coming and going to support their runner. during a short pause of incoming cars, i stood there completely moved by the dedication i witnessed from these families and friends. then i had this moment, standing between the parking lot and road, overlooking the mountains, when i decided that i would run this race at some point in my life. the dream got securely tucked away.

but as dreams go, it doesn't just suddenly come to be. we need to work hard to achieve them. so far, this year has not been a good running year. it's been injury after injury and a very slow recovery. and although things are finally on the up swing, i sense that i still need to take it easy. i have this gut feeling that this year is about staring from (almost) zero and re-training my body and mind. and as much as reducing my running to a minimum seems counter-intuitive, i think it will ultimately help in my body's longevity. so going to western states again was not just to volunteer and to go on an adventure with friends, it was to nurture my dream. 

emily, mary, and i drove up on friday and stealth camped at the french meadows reservoir. as you can see below, the space was exquisite. the expansiveness of that place nourished me.


all three of us had a blast volunteering. the robinson flat "family" remembered me from last year and welcomed us with warmth and enthusiasm. i even got to see several of my running crushes as they zipped through our aid station. (woo-hee, they are smokin!) but the thing i loved most was serving the runners from the point they made it up the super steep hill to the moment they left the station. refill their bottles, get them drink, offer snacks, fill their hankerchiefs with ice, ask them how they're doing, listen, point them to the way out and wish them well. it was such a joy to give out of the overflow of love i felt for these runners (even the very demanding ones). 

last year, a dream was planted. this year, a passion got clarified. i realized that i love supporting people as they passionately pursue the fulfillment of their dream(s), especially in the context of community. it completely energizes me! i'm curious about how all this will fold together. 

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