This year has not been easy for me. There have been unexpected plot twists, bad and good. I have been quiet, generally, as I try to sort through changes in my life and what they mean. (Maybe they don’t mean anything— but that’s an existential rabbit hole we need not go down.)
Perhaps one of the biggest blows is that I am not running Iditarod in 2017.
At this point, this may be obvious (or not). I am back in Minneapolis— where I never expected to be, certainly not so soon— and when I was recently asked what I am doing, exactly, I wasn’t sure. Because I am not necessarily doing… Anything. I am working. I have small goals within that, and I have many social and day-to-day activities. That kind of a lifestyle, living so much in the now, is both healthy for me, and very different from my normal MO. I am a person who needs an overarching goal. Something to work towards. And for many, many years, that goal has been, in some form or another, Iditarod. This past year and a half, that goal was much more serious and manifest.
Unfortunately it didn’t work out.
I feel very guilty about this. I feel I failed my sponsors and the people who supported me emotionally. I feel I failed myself and the enormous amount of work I put into getting the dogs of RDR kennel to 10th place in Iditarod last year. I feel as thought I tripped before the start line, and lost something that meant the world to me.
The truth, though, is that depression is still a bastard, and it is wise to gather your strength when you don’t have much left. The truth is that I was dealt a major and completely unexpected blow when my relationship fell apart. The truth is that maybe I still wasn’t ready yet for 2017. And that’s okay. (I keep telling myself. It’s hard to believe.)
And the other truth is that I haven’t given up.
I have not failed, because I am not done.
People overcome many things to accomplish their own goals. I did not know that what I’d have to overcome was my own mental chemistry.
This year has felt like getting punched in the face. And where I am now is down on the mat, still reeling from the shock and wondering how I got here. But the ten count goes longer in real life, and I just realized that I’m going to get back up, and I’m not giving up this fight.
This is a hitch, but not a failure. Not a scratch. Never that.
Now I am gathering a new plan of action. Some things I can accomplish, for myself, that move me towards the start line.
- Hooch and I have been running together. We will work towards running a 50 mile run around the Twin Cities sometime in the spring. I can’t run Iditarod this year, but Hooch and I will have our own race. We can accomplish this goal together. (I have searched for canicross races of any notable distance in North America, with little success. So Hooch and I will have this race on our own… A competition against self. That’s the best kind anyway.)
- I am looking now at options to run Iditarod in the next three years. The money I raised towards Iditarod will still go towards Iditarod— just not this March. The support has not gone wasted— only delayed.
- I am in training. This is a phrase, for some reason, that gets me through each day. Maybe it’s deeper than just… The physical aspect. Maybe it means, I’m not finished, I am still percolating, I have room to grow. Either way, it makes me slog the shoes on for the next run, the next session on the boxing bag, the next step towards Nome.
- The time for quiet is done now. Writing keeps me accountable— so I’m going to write about this. Even the parts that kind of suck. This will be my training log, for all the weird training I’m in. Boxing again, running now, prepping to do this thing that is Iditarod, that seems like it is bigger and more difficult each time I approach it. But which I also grow more determined to do, every day.
I’m not done.
Sorry for the delay. Life happened, a little. But it’s go time, again. Come with— it’ll be an adventure, I’m sure.