We have about 9 days left until the Ascent. It feels like I have been on this journey to get to the top of the mountain for a really long time. I remember when I got notified that I had been chosen to be a Marmot. I was SO EXCITED! I did a giant happy dance, and I immediately felt really cool, like I had arrived somewhere; like I was finally something. It's silly, it really is. Thousands of people complete the Triple Crown, and thousands more will complete the Triple Crown for years to come. I feel extremely honored to be wearing the Purple and Gold jersey and being on a team with my fellow 2017 Marmots. In the words of Wayne and Garth, "I'm not worthy." Here I am, months later, days away from the final challenge, and I am trying my best not to psych myself out. In order to accomplish the calm mind that I want to have and maintain over these next 9 days, I refer to my favorite thing ever: Star Wars. I once called Star Wars as the love of my life, and to be truthful, next to my son, it really is. I've been watching Star Wars since I was 4 years old. It is the one constant in my life. No matter what has gone on in my 36 years on this planet, I could always find a way to get lost in a galaxy far, far away; whether through the movies or the books. Star Wars taught me resilience, to believe in the good of others, and still makes me feel like I can do anything. I would be remiss if I did not have at least one blog post referring to Star Wars. Lessons and Mantras from Star Wars and their correlation to my running journey and this final Ascent:
Luke: I can't do it, it's too big.
Yoda: Size matters not.
Well Yoda, I wonder, if you had seen the size of Pikes Peak would you have still echoed this sentiment? Seriously though, I'm going in it with this attitude. The size of the mountain doesn't matter. Just one foot in front of the other. I CAN do it!!!
Han: How ya feeling kid? You don't look so bad to me. You look strong enough to pull the ears off a gundark.
To tell someone this means they look unusually strong. I feel pretty strong and ready. Gundarks on the trail, beware!!!
Luke: "I want to come with you to Alderaan. There is nothing here for me now. I want to learn the ways of the Force and become a Jedi like my father."
This is a loose adaptation, but this quote reminds me of some of my first conversations with my running friends when I was first wanting to become a trail runner. I said things like, "I want to be a trail runner. I want to experience the trails underneath my feet. I want to climb to the top of Pikes Peak. I want to run an ultra marathon." See the similarities?
I felt like I was entering a whole new world. I needed lots of direction and advice. I need to give a quick thank you to Tim Gore, Wendy Stalnaker, Rachel Jacobsen, and Tracy Thelen for being my running "Jedi" masters, and for helping me feel like I could actually do this. Thank you all for the emails and text messages of encouragement. Thank you for the hugs, for running with me, and for being such a great support system.
Luke: " You serve your master well, and you will be rewarded."
I have run a lot. I have overcome a pretty crappy injury. I have listened to my coach, and I have trained the best that I could with the time and resources that I have. I am nearly positive that I have my nutrition and hydration dialed in. Running isn't necessarily my "master," but putting in the work has provided me the means to reap some rewards. Pikes Peak will be the big reward!
Leia: "You have your moments. Not many of them, but you do have them."
Princess Leia has been the woman whom I have always tried to model my life after. She is strong, and caring, and just amazing. She has always been my greatest hero. When I'm doing something amazing, I am reaching for my inner Leia. I love the thought of climbing the Pikes Peak in the Ascent as one of those amazing moments that I get to experience.
Yoda: "Do or do not, there is no try."
I'm going to get to the top of that mountain. Gonna do it!!!
Yoda: "Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose."
What is there really to fear? I will be having a fun jaunt up to Pikes Peak with a few thousand other running friends.
I will be taking care of myself these next few days. I've got a couple of runs planned this weekend. I am going to be packing my run items several times over, watching the weather reports round the clock, and watching Star Wars as much as I can.
9 days and counting!!!!