Cold morning in the canyon. It feels like fall. I awake this morning with that unspoken and inarticulatable sense of calm, a renewed sense of unity with the world. What is profound about how I feel today is really the absence of what I often do: a self-driven cycle of doubt and worry that consumes my energy questioning every action I have taken in life thus far, which boils down to one central theme, “am I enough?”
Today that way of being is gone. I feel confident and strong. I can again observe my life from a distance and appreciate that this period of time is not a waste. Confused as I may feel at times, this life and all situations is temporary, and my well-being should not depend on my life as compared to the lives of others. I define myself by my ability to follow the path that inspires and terrifies me, that challenges me and stretches me far beyond my comfort zone, making me extremely uncomfortable at times. If I continue to live by this approach, by pursuing what truly makes me feel alive and passionate, failure is not possible.
I have spent the summer living in my van – running in the mountains – living a life that I once thought was not possible for me. I study my maps and the landscape from the high peaks, designing routes that used to intimidate me; being high, remote and exposed. Sometimes I show up to a big day in the mountains and the mountains say firmly, “GO HOME!” On other occasions I awake at a trailhead, humbled and small, and I dance with the world for 20 miles.
Do I fear tomorrow, the Rut 50k? No. I approach this run like all others, with respect and patience. There is a chance that the mountains will say, as they have said before, “GO HOME!”
I stand, as always, upon the shores of the unknown and unknowable. This is where I belong.