I’m starting to kind of loosen my grip on this arrogant belief that I “know best”. Maybe I really don’t know shit. I have grown to know some things for damn sure, but clearly there is a LOT I have left to learn. Last Friday, Lars & I headed out to Orcas Island for our annual trip/race/getaway/kid-free romantic retreat. With busy lives as single parents, raising our kids in separate towns, we get approximately 2 of these special weekends per year. The importance of this time alone together cannot be overstated. It’s what we need. The fact that the Orcas Island 50k is always part of our weekend is just this delicious crazy icing on the beautiful cake that is our relationship. Hanging out on the lovely trails of Orcas with so many of our running friends is a sweet sweet bonus.
my first Orcas Island 50k finish, 2012
Apparently, I needed to have a couple of truths reinforced for me this weekend. I’m sorry that it took 1) a nasty flying fall on a sharp rock, 2) Lars’ having to drop from the race to help me, 3) a kind volunteer driving her truck miles off the mountain on a crazy road, 4) the sweet race nurse and kind EMT sitting with me while we waited for the “on-call” Dr. to answer her page (clinic closed on Saturdays!), and 5) the amazing Dr. who relentlessly cleaned my wound (thank you god for Lidocaine and Percocet) & gave me 11 pretty stitches, to relearn these truths:
- I am not perfect.
- Shit happens when you least expect it. (this course was a muddy slick mess – did I fall on the treacherous downhill technical sections? nope – I fell on a flat section while turning to look behind me – genius!)
- Never stop paying attention. (I went off course at mile 7ish for about 10 minutes before realizing I took a wrong turn…lost a good 30 minutes and spent the rest of the race (until I fell) trying to “catch up”.)
- People are truly kind and amazing. (all the runners who saw me fall and walked me to the next aid station said these things: “Are you okay??” “I’m not leaving you!” “I will run ahead and get help!” “We are a community and we are in this together!” “You are going to be fine!” and on and on….hearts of gold, all of ‘em.)
- It’s okay to be vulnerable. (so this is my biggie. I don’t like to ask for help, I don’t like to be waited on, I don’t like to be immobilized, I don’t like to rely on others. In fact, I hate all of those things. Guess what??? In relationships, you need to be vulnerable. Otherwise, it doesn’t really work out too well. Allowing Lars to pick me up off the dirt, walk me to the truck and to town and to the wheelchair and to the clinic….and allowing him to take care of everything the rest of the weekend….Well, that probably wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t bit it hard on the trail. Am I so stubborn and emotionally immature that I need 11 stitches to learn these life lessons? Umm, maybe! I do think I am getting better in this area. <3 Hopefully, I won’t need such a deep & nasty reminder next time.
(CAUTION: GRAPHIC SCARY LEG PHOTOS BELOW!)