Hey there folks!
After 61 hours of travel back from Sri Lanka I am stoked to settle my thoughts for a finale post on the epic journey at Sri Lanka. It is a wonderful moment when you find yourself sitting back in your office chair at home at 2am, jetlagged, and you turn on your computer and wonder if that all just really happened or was it a big dream. But then you dip into your social media pages and see the overwhelming support that took place while you were away, peek at event photos from the website, see donations that occurred during the journey for the Lymelight foundation and realize it was not a dream.
My body really went through an epic feat through the jungle, heat, humidity and terrain of Sri Lanka. Those epic moments of highs and lows really happened and all of the love and support from new and old friends out on the course helped carry you through to the finish line.
The last 1.5k for myself and my tent mates was enjoyed in a team walk/jog to the finish. Joining together as a "tent family" we crossed the finish line to what has become a beautiful week as friends and a group of 8 that looked out for each other.
When you reflect back on another 7 days moving your body through rough, rugged, terrain, with everything on your back, you find yourself moving back to the "real world" with a different perspective. Something as little as a "real" toilet vs a hole in the ground with a tarp around it becomes an extreme luxury. It also makes you realize how little you really need to survive and to be content and happy in life. Thus, it also gives you a perspective on consumerism and sheds light to how much one really needs to buy to survive. Lastly, it gives you a perspective of how important and unique your friendships are with your friends and family that have been in your life at various times and new ones made along the running journey. You build a deep appreciation for your relationships near and far.
Looking back at the journey in Sri Lanka it was a huge success for the first step in 5 races this year to become the first female ever to complete the grand slam plus in honor of the Lymelight Foundation and all while scoring 2nd female overall and 9th overall when presented this time with a vast amount of adversity during my journey. It was awesome to hear stories along the way from competitors that have been affected by Lyme in one way of another and sharing how the foundation can help. Reflecting on the last 7 days is one that is a tall tale of stories that include many highs and many lows. The journey becoming one where you almost forget how often you thought on the fly to problem solve to revert your focus to a positive effort to succeed. As if you did not do so, you would fail.
There are many moments along the way that make one realize how large of a feat the Grand Slam Plus really is. It is a meticulous dance with your mind, body and spirit to have your body stay in 100% shape, injury free, strong and healthy for each race over the 10 months. Then within each race it is a process to ensure that each day you push only so hard as to make sure that you can get through the next stages in that race and the next stages all year long. It is a total of 35 race days that need to end across the finish line each time. And of course, I hope to land on the podium each time as icing on the cake. There will be highs and there will be lows as it is naturally expected to be. As those highs and lows come, it is a process to be strong and mighty and ensure that you are successful. Large measures can take place that can remove you from the game such as a big injury or fall, or your body giving up in the climate or terrain. And then the small and unexpected items can happen such as a dog bite, falling in a bathroom hole (sorry that is gross but it was a constant fear out there), eating something bad, a random accident at camp and the list goes on. Furthermore, between races it is additionally a dance to ensure your body stays strong, training is met to stay fit and fast and your mind stays in it.
And most importantly through the whole journey there is the passion and desire to inspire others to get outside and explore as a means to prevent disease and to share my passion to create awareness and raise funds for the Lyme community.
I will leave you with a quote that Nate wrote to me at Zeal Optics while on the course, "There are only two tragedies in life: one is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it." Hold fast and Explore More!
Go get ‘em folks! And enjoy the journey.