I have fear. I've been nervous, anxious over the past couple days leading to an extreme adventure I am undertaking with crazy friends this weekend. I am running an ultramarathon.
Basically, an event like that is a marathon, 42KM... and then a 10KM... and then 4 more KM.
I've been flipping everything in my head; have I gained enough body fat? Do I have a reliable source of electrolytes? Did I do enough hill training? What if I don't sleep well? Will heat be a factor? What's the course like? Should I plan on changing gear at the half point?
My apprehension is fueled from another source, too. Last Saturday, I went for a 30-minute run with my group. I couldn't take more than a couple steps and felt an acute pain in my lower right leg. Shin splints. Little overuse injuries that build when you do too much, too fast, for too long. I've been running a lot, I've been running very far and I've never ran faster in my whole life. But now, I'm afraid my strength is fading. My legs need a break.
My Belle is away. I can usually always count on her wisdom and support, the days prior a big event. She's always there to listen, to give me little pearls of wisdom and to let me know how happy she is that I'm doing what I love. Man I miss her.
I could keep adding and adding to this list. Even as I write it, it makes my heart beat faster and my back shivery. I'm stressed out.
But that was until yesterday.
I went to my yoga class, yesterday. My teacher, Kelly, decided we all should take some time to lay down and rest. It's called restorative yoga. A mix of meditation, relaxation and gentle stretching. It felt awesome.
When we were about done with the class, she asked everyone to think about something. I, of course, thought about my race. Then she said something totally unexpected.
"Whatever you are thinking about, be grateful for it".
I had it backwards! I am not stressed about food, hydration, physical risks or loneliness. I am grateful for love and friendship, for my body's amazing capabilities, for my health and for my freedom to pursue my dreams.
I am not afraid. I am grateful.
Here goes everything.