lake valhalla

Running

Death and Running to Heal

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People love to run. People hate to run. I don't realize how much I love running until it's placed in front of me. 

I got sober 4.5 years ago when shit got real, when I had either two choices. Die a slow death of living as an alcoholic or get sober. You obviously know which one I chose and it saved my life. Everything I have today including my emotional and spiritual health is due to my sobriety. I went to a memorial last weekend for a friend of mine who got sober at the same time as me. About a year ago I asked her about things and why I hadn't seen her around outside of teaching yoga and she told me a story about how her new (relapsed) way of living was working for her and everything was great... Fast forward to a week ago she was taken from this disease and it hurts my hurt whenever this happens.

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The memorial was beautiful and she has so many people that love her. Pastor Ryan said something that really stuck with me. It was something along the lines of "I am not here to tell you where Madeline went...I don't  know what happens once you die, I know you already know a theory or two but I do know about life. I do know that we ALL have an expiration date and we will all die, but what I do know about is how to LIVE. Everyone knows that they will die but do they know how to truly LIVE".

My friend Tiffany and I had a sunset trail-race directly following the ceremony (like 40 minutes to leave, change, and get in line at the race. It was the Bridle Trails Winter Festival Race and it was everything from 5 miles to Ultra distances. I just signed up for the 5M as I was sick all last week and hate doing loop courses. We both went from memorial to run and oh was it exactly what we needed. We were emotionally heavy after the ceremony and once we started running it was just BLISS.

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Running has that way to just let you forget all the things that clog your mind...or at least work through them. I am currently getting ready to run a marathon in Bend, Oregon this coming April! The month before in March, I am joining a Run Like a Girl retreat to Costa Rica and I can hardly wait! Through my toughest times, running always helped save me. I need to continue to do it to remind me how to LIVE.....and live fully. 

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Photo Journal

Welcoming Fall

Three months ago I had a bad sprain and was unable to do a lot of hikes and climbs I had planned this past summer. This made me practically crazy. Sometimes I would attempt a hike, which then would be followed by one or two weeks of having to restart my healing. I would ice and elevate every night and wear wraps and tape up for everything. I had to find gratitude that it wasn't worse. Eventually things got easier and I went through summer healing and finding my way back into a stronger yoga practice that I now see as a huge blessing. The last two years I have been teaching yoga every week more than I'd actually been taking yoga and it showed. Once yoga became my only form of exercise, I started to improve stability without pain quickly. 

I believe that having a more regular practice has helped my mental as well as physical state in order to get me back out on the trials. This brings me to now. Within the last week I actually did three different hikes! What a blessing and just in time for my favorite season of them all - Fall. 

This was my first hike back and it was mainly a scramble for half the hike, with a good amount of elevation gain with great reward:

I felt so inspired by that hike that a few days later my boyfriend Derek and I decided to go to a place in Rainier National Park called Fremont Lookout. This hike is avery popular trail so we went on a Sunday evening and got to watch the sunset behind Rainier, it was glorious.

The colors were starting to change and the views were incredible. This past Wednesday my friend Shelley asked me to come with her to a hike called Lake Valhalla. I have done this hike before for a Choose Mountains meetup but never saw a view because it was socked in and snowing the last time I'd been there so I was excited to go back and see the change of colors. Look at what a beautiful turnout this was:

Washington is one of the most beautiful places in the US. I can't believe that I got to do all of these hikes within a week with NO PAIN AT ALL. It's amazing to see the journey of where our lives take us and in this moment I'm just so happy to be able to experience so many things. I am hoping to blog more often on this site. Feels like home to me to blog again. I used to blog for 7 years so it's just so nice to get back into. I have more ideas for the future so stay tuned!