Saturday, July 5, 2014

Wherever You Go There you Are

I stole this saying from Jon Kabat-Zinn.  An author who wrote a book with the same title.  A book I have not read, and actually have no idea what it is even about.
Perhaps Jon borrowed this quote from someone else. 
I don't know the origins exactly but I know it pertains to my life RIGHT NOW.

I have spent years, and by years I am talking about from the age of 19, trying to be, wanting to be, and dreaming of, being thinner.
For those who have known me all my life they will know that IF I was indeed thinner at 19, or 23 I would have looked sickly.
I doubt I weighed an ounce over 110 pounds and I am positive I was in a size 5 at that time of my life.

I have never been happy with me... not only did I want to be thinner, but I wanted things to not droop or sag... hair to be curlier... lashes to be thicker.... feet to be smaller.

Seriously did not like the package that I was born with.

(Dear 20 year old self:  ARE YOU KIDDING?)

Here I sit 30 years later and I do believe I have finally accepted me for who I am.

Sure I am a lot bigger than I was at 20.
Saggier in places I didn't know could ever sag and hair that is more grey than brown (although THAT I can control).

It is who I am and although I am still riding on my goal of eating healthier I will not be anyone but me.  
Me today.
It just isn't going to happen so I might as well like me.
Me today.

This thought process did not take years to happen, yet it DID take years, and if I was to be completely honest, felt as if it happened almost over night.

The past many years after having had children I worked at trying hard to get fit, and in the end, thinner.
I have never been more uncomfortable and miserable about what I looked like, always self conscious about what I wore.  No sleeveless shirts or dresses. A bathing suit?  Never!!

Until a couple of weeks ago.

Ray surprised me with a trip for our anniversary coming up (a big one of 30 years) as we head out a week today for Mexico.
Mexico in July is incredibly hot.
Mexico where we will most likely go snorkeling and lay on a beach with drinks in hand.
This all means I have to wear shorts and bathing suits if I want to be comfortable in the heat and fit in with all the other tourists in the resort.

As excited as I was there was also that part of me close to the surface that was cringing and wondering how I would ever get over my self loathing of fat me.

Then one morning while trying on various outfits that would be packed I took a good look at myself in the mirror.
A good long hard look.

You know what I discovered?

That I am probably pretty darn average.

Sure I am not lean and thin... I would love that, but in one weeks time for this trip, aint gonna happen.
Will it ever happen?

I like my food too much and I hate running.
There.  Said it.
I really hate it.
Haven't run in awhile now and I do believe I will be dragging my bike out of hiding because THAT I loved to do as well as hiking, and that is an easy peasy activity to do as well.

In the meantime as I looked at myself in the mirror I decided I liked what I saw.
My hubby is still hanging around, so he must kinda like it too.
What the hell.
Yeah I will always be surrounded by thinner more fit people than me.
But they are not me.

Does this mean I will stop trying to eat healthier and give up any form of exercise?
No, of course not.
I would like to finish up my life healthy.
But I also need to be happy.

I am me.... it is who I am and will always be.
I have another half of my life to live and I might as well like who I have to travel this road with because wherever I go, there I am.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

My Biggest Mistake

It's been a strange few months when it comes to my blogging.
One reason for my absence has to do with my phone addiction.  I find it easier to hang out in cyber land on this little hand held device than deal with my broken lap top, however blogging with a teeny tiny key board has its challenges as well, so I just stayed away.

The other reason for the silence has more to do with why I have avoided coming here.
Today is the day.
 I feel it is time to break the silence even though it is still hard to talk about.

I should have been packing and prepping to leave for the Percy deWolfe Memorial Race. The plan was to leave this weekend.

I will not be going.

My heart hurts with the disappointment.

For two years it was all I could think of.
Nerves and excitement hung around me all the time.

I had a good feeling about my three dogs that were coming with me.  They were running well and we were slowly building distance.
There was a worry that the miles were not being put on quick enough, but they were strong and loved to run not wanting to stop when we did.

Hubba was losing weight as was I.
The only big step was to practice skijoring with the three together and with the pulk.

That is when I made a mistake.

A big mistake.

I did not listen to my dogs.
They put ALL their trust in me and I let them down.

We had gone running for the day with friends on gorgeous trails..... Perfect trails for training on.  I was so excited with the thought of camping here and spending most of my weekend on the trails only a couple hours away.
It was a nice day with temperatures hovering close to zero.  Nice for the humans but could have been a little cooler for the dogs.

What I loved most about this training were the hills.... Great training for both myself and the fur kids as I also had to run.

However it is also part of the reason we came into trouble.  One in a larger equation.

My first mistake was not packing water snacks.
I was told we wouldn't be gone very long so I did not pack them.  I should have asked how long we would be as my idea of not long is an hour or two.... We were out closer to five.

My second and biggest wrong doing was not listening.
I knew my kids were tired.
We were working hard on those hills and Rigby's tug line kept going slack.

His tug line never goes slack.... Ever.

I knew I should stop to rest but our human leader insisted we keep going to get out to the trucks.
Worried about being out on the trails in the dark we kept ourselves running forward.
I should have just stopped should have listened to my inner voice that kept telling me to stop.

Instead Rigby collapsed.
Heat exhaustion took over and he had to be bagged for the rest of the ride.

Rigby was fine by the time we got back.  But he has never run the same since.
He is worried that this will happen again.
He does not trust in me anymore.
Rigby was my power house.

I let him down.

I let myself down.

I knew then that there was no way I would be able to get the training miles on or just go with two dogs.
It still took over a month before I could tell anyone I was not going.

It broke my heart and my spirit.
It still hurts.

But I AM excited for Raija as she leaves today for the Yukon and to carry out our dream.
I will be with her in spirit.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Doggone Adventures

I was thinking the other day that we are getting so pro at this dog sledding 'thing' as everything generally runs so smoothly.
Feeling like I could hook up with my eyes closed and following the same routine makes each outing run near perfect.

Until today.

Suppose I was feeling a little cocky and deserved tonights adventure.

The trail right now is fast and icy.
Not bad for training runs getting ready for a sprint race in two weeks time.
However my kids also like the distance and are not satisfied with doing the race trail once so we always run it twice at the very least.
Tonight was no exception and with a little bit of a tangle coming into the truck the first time I was able to get them back out for our second run without too much trouble.

I was on my own and didn't bother putting a sled bag on opting only for a small handle bar bag that carried items such as extra rope and a head lamp.
It was a cold run and the dogs and I were covered in frost as the sun made its way below the horizon leaving us in a dusky light as we made our way over the second last bridge.
At this point Rocky decided he had to poop... so I slowed down for him as he kept squatting and nothing was happening.... the third attempt he ended up slipping his collar in order to stop dead to try and aim for a successful BM for the fourth time.

Groaning I thought to myself... forget it, we only have one more bridge to go and then we are on the home stretch... he can run without a collar.
Which he did happily, tail up bounding along at his own speed, even slowing down to run beside the sled which gave me a chuckle as his face had the look of confused shock prompting him to shoot forward and tighten his tug line.
Running to the truck I praised my kids as I always do, telling them how wonderful they are and that it was snack time.

Tonight was going to be different.

Instead of heading to the truck we ran right past it in order to do the trail for a third time!!!
Now normally I would be whooping and "Good Dawging" it but with Rocky out of his collar I needed to stop everyone and at the very least re-attach Rocky.
I was at level with the back of the truck and for whatever reasoning I had for this I put the snow hook around the hitch instead of the snub line.
Leaving the sled I then walked forward to put Rocky back in his collar.  It was at this point that Elly decided it was time to go and pulled us all forward setting all the other dogs into a frenzied mass of fur which then ripped the snow hook off the truck and propelled the sled forward.
I was at Rocky's side and was thrown into the sled with my one leg going under the front this made Rocky panic and he then ripped himself out of his harness.  So now I had a loose dog with no collar or harness on, tail wagging and tongue hanging out with a smug look on his face.

Elly and Rigby were both screaming to get going again and were pulling me forward with my one leg now caught around the tug line which at one time held Rocky.
Trying to Hang on to the sled, which had no sled bag for a grip, and one hand on the gang line while yelling (or would that be screaming) for Elly to stop must have made for an interesting sight for anyone driving by.
Looking up at the front of the line I saw that Elly had also slipped her collar and it was now hanging down around Hubba's neck putting him into a state of panic as he tried to get away from the object swinging around his face as he also desperately tried to wiggle out of his harness.

I had to think, and think fast as the dogs kept surging me forward in an almost face down position at the back of the team.  Pictures of me being pulled along at top speed with Rocky bounding around the team loose flashed through my mind at this point.
Somehow I managed to pull myself up and quickly let go of everything in order to lunge forward to grab the handle and hit the brake.
Everything was so icy yet I had no choice but to kick the snow hook into the ground as hard as I could so that I would be able to get to the leaders and turn them around to get back to the truck... I would deal with the loose Rocky later.

I let go of the sled and reached down and grabbed the snow hook line that is attached to the front of the sled, the dogs sensing this movement shot forward again ripping the snow hook out of the ground and out of my hands giving me massive rope burn and taking off on me... again I was able to catch the sled and once more stopped the now crazed dogs.
My last resort now was to let the dogs run forward until I reached the starting gate which gave me something to tie my snub line to.  I also dug the snow hook into the ground here for added security.
At this point I unhooked each dog individually and brought them back to the truck.
All the while Rocky was prancing around following me back and forth to the truck.

I loved that they wanted to go again and if it wasn't for my wandering Rocky we would have.
I also love the fact that Rocky actually stuck around and came to me when it was his turn to be hooked to the truck.
I do NOT love that I now sit in pain as both my hands scream at me, or that there are muscles in my back that didn't know they existed until now.

Lesson learned.
Never lose sight of the fact that anything can happen at anytime.

I be ever so humbled.
Not sure if you can see the rope burns.. three lines worth,x two on the fingers and one on the top portion of the palm.... on both hands!

 On that note.
It was an excellent run and the dogs did a great job.

Monday, February 3, 2014

The Call of the Yukon

I have been following the Yukon Quest.

From the warmth and comfort of my house.

With a full nights sleep.

On a real bed.

And honestly.

It sucks.

It has been one year since I followed Randy and his team, Controlled Chaos from Whitehorse to Dawson City.
Hard to believe it's been one year.

I think about the Yukon and this adventure often.  It sits on the edge of my memories and the smallest thing will bring it to life.
Like a warm glow that sits deep inside spreading through out me until my fingers and toes tingle and a flush rushes across my face.

I miss being there, miss the adventure.
There is also unfinished business that lingers..... so many I should haves and could haves and wishes of things being done differently.

One year from now.
February 2015.
It looks as if I may get my wishes answered.... I will be able to correct the should haves and the could haves as I head back out to the Yukon Quest with Randy once again as he returns to finish what he started.

Look out Fairbanks here we come!
Yukon River in Dawson City