Caren Ware's Blog

May 11, 2010

Fender bender/ Bummer Bumper/And not again!!!

Filed under: Uncategorized — carenware @ 11:38 pm

I don’t even want to admit this, but I have a big red gash and crumpled dent in my new Toyota  tundra’s bumper.  The little dent was from valet parking in Beverly Hills.  I had to out do that  at the car wash. I kissed one of those red poles meant to keep you from hitting the corner of the building.  It was not visible looking over my huge dash.  And…I was talking on the cell phone, again trying to get multi things done at once.

I was finalizing flight options with Marathon Tours for my jaunt to the Australian Outback. The adventure there is now  starting to take on my personality and  include open jawed jumps to Melbourne, Tanzania, and New Zealand.  Too far to go to not take a look around!   The agent, Kelly, got acquainted to the other part of my personality. I  told her to scratch the last leg of my itinerary. I just spent it on a bumper.  This is the second time I have crumpled this big truck into something in its short life.

In December,  I found myself sliding backward down Hwy 189 in the first snow storm of the season. On shear black ice, in ever so slow motion , desperately trying to steer the truck looking over my shoulder to no avail.  I was on a four-wheel, inner tube toboggan ride. I plowed into a guard rail and the full truck tonnage pressed into the shape of the guard rail.  . Ugh.  Expensive.  I am having some expensive lessons in life lately.

Look what I found in the Produce Section

Filed under: Uncategorized — carenware @ 6:11 am

Chris Frost

I had some time to kill between a morning cycling meeting (Amgen Tour de California event promoters were going over event details with Ex Mayor Dick Riordan , 80 yr old avid cyclist ,and other venture capitalists  while biking from Brentwood to Playa del Rey for breakfast and back. Now that was ‘wheeling and dealing’! ) and an afternoon walk through set up for the Malibu Creek Xterra Trail Run.  I was enjoying the California coastline in Malibu along Pacfic Coast Hwy.  

 I passed the Green Produce Market.  Looks interesting. I turned in.  It was a great, nichy health food store with chefed foods , killer baked goods, and organic produce.

The shopper at the counter in front of me had ‘EVENT’ written all over him. I could sense energy, confidence, and zeal.  More than a typical runner.  Something about him said more than a typical triathlete.  I had to ask.
Meet Chris Frost.  Been sporty all his life.  Started with water ski racing and moved into Ironmans, running, and more running.  Seemed like a natural progression, he said, to end up in ultras.  Ultras included the Race Across the Sahara and I think he said 4 or 5 Badwater to Whitneys.  These are not your typical races.  Badwater starts in Death Valley in July at 10am…on purpose…and runs through the night to Whitney Portals at almost 10,000 feet.  A typical training run for this took him from Mailbu over the hills to Newberry Park and back, runs that were up to 40 miles.  GHEEZ. And he says he spends a lot of time on the Colorado River at the Parker Strip.  There he runs to the dam and back in the heat of the day.  A 33 mile course.  WHEEZ.
 
 He had a host of people he got to ‘hang’ with by doing these events…Scott Tinley, Bob Babbit, Lance Armstrong ,when he was an up and coming triathlete.  He shared that the BEST part of having these events in his life were the people.  They were far from one-dimensional.  He told me to look up Marshal Ulrich and Louise Cooper, that they were giants in the Ultra community.  I asked him if I could feature him in our next monthly e-blast.  I loved the conversation and hope to take his interview tidbits with me on my continental marathon journey…and who knows, I may just wind up running Across the Sahara or from Badwater to Whitney.  It sure sparked  the wick in me.
Here’s his tidbits. “Treat the System with respect.”  Meaning, honor the other athletes, the event promoters, the support crews, and yourself and you will grow a family so worth having.  The people you meet with have depth and backgrounds.  It is so so worth it.  ” To complete these is all about mind set”.  He said plan with your mind and your body will follow.  Interesting.  I was having to learn that. I had gotten an email from the World Champion Heptathlete.  She is a very strong, beautiful athlete from Austrailia.  It read, “Caren.  When your mind matches your body, you will be my fiercest competition.”  She explained at a World competition how she could ” yo yo” me all over the track and manuever me out of beating her when I was possilby  stronger, fitter, and definitely well trained, but my focus and confidence were not leading my body.  Chris said heres how you run ultras, “run up hill till you can’t, walk till it gets too easy, and haul ass down hills!”
 
Hearing from a ‘real deal’ ultra  lite a wick of enthusiasm in me.  I asked Chris to describe a signature moment during an event.  He said the tall guy in the photo and he were struggling toward the finish of the grueling Sahara.  It was a faint, far away light on the top of a huge sand dune.  They carried packs to be survival sufficient.  All through the night they pushed each other along, wanting to give in, but never giving up.  When they finally, triumphantly overtook that light, they could sit a top that vista and see lights strewn across the dunes and desert for miles and miles.  The lights were all the other competitors that gave in and bivsacked for the night.  They got to rest in the fact that they were done and those lights were out there still surviving.  The mental picture of being out there…the challenge , it all lures me.

May 10, 2010

RUNNING RAGGED

Filed under: Uncategorized — carenware @ 9:12 am

Juan works for Heaven Massage on corner of Sunnyslope and Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks

Been running since the motel wake up call at 6am. Meeting at an Ihop, meeting with the LA Cancer Challenge. Going over their intricate, well staged event and all our new electronic features. Meeting on the 16th floor of a high-rise in Beverly Hills. Quick lunch meeting over the eblast newsletter. Meeting in Burbank with marketers. Appointment with Heaven Massage in Sherman Oaks and the Thai guy, Juan ,who has his work cut out stretching and working on my sore IT bands, hams, back, gluts. It is all tight and sore. He works hard and is focused and very good at what he does. The Thai follow how the body connects and combine deep tissue work, massage, and stretching. It is a necessary combination for me. He talk in english words, not sentences. “You muscle like stone”. “You drink no little water”, ‘You no run so much.” “work, quick, quick”. He has become my ‘safe’ place to get a massage. He won’t be chapters in the book like my last massage specialist/trainer.

I end today with my first introduction to commercials class held at the home of the casting agent/instructor. It goes from 7 to 11:30pm. Check out carolynbarry.com. My navigator steers me wrong and I end up on a dead-end street and late to class. Bum.
I need these classes as much as I need massage and stretching. This, combined with the improv class, are allowing me to learn communication techniques, style, poise, and how to accept being in front of a camera. Lots about a person comes out on stage. More comes out in front of a camera. I was too conscious of all the outside distractions that I look distracted on camera. Really distracted. Same with life right now. I couldn’t help, but wonder off and all day what the man with the voice’s work day was like?

Long drive home. I am weary. Flashing red lights overpower me. Now I am really weary. A PA announces, pull over. They thought they had a DUI red-handed. Nope. Just a person that ran ragged all day. That is not the fun kind of running.

Let’s take a vote, which Marathon should I run?

Filed under: A Runner's Story,Women Running — carenware @ 7:21 am

Check these two races in great remote destinations…on the same weekend. A big choice. Aspire to do one this year and the other the next, but I am so torn on which to choose this August 2010/ Check them out for me and see what you think.

http://www.cometogalapagos.com. THE FLYING TORTOISE MARATHON,a marathon on the Galapagos Islands off the shore of Ecudor. The great draw is the personal invite from Rick, Bere, and Roley…whoever they are. Doesn’t matter. You feel invited and like you know them just from their emails and blurbs on their website. They are doing this for all the right reasons! Their website is friendly. They are invitingly thrilled to share their island, their towns, their exotic, one of a kind place on earth. I KNOW this is the adventure I am soaking for, but something is telling me to patiently wait on this one…and honestly, I was hoping to share an experience like this with my running buddy so ouch. I have traveled to so many events and places , many alone. I am not sure why this one has a pang to go there alone. It just does. So let’s see what happens. Maybe I will meet people along the runs and roads I take to train and I will celebrate the friendships it brings a year from now. Who knows. Maybe I will be brave enough by next year to try it alone. Maybe my business will go broke and I don’t travel! It’s all a part of of the unknown journey. It’s the part that I need to let go and just let it happen.

The OUTBACK MARATHON http://www.australianoutbackmarathon.com is smack in the heart of Austrailia’s outback . It is remote, remote and not a financially easy endeavor to get to. Airlines are costly. Losing almost two days in flying there is costly. But there is so much to explore in Austrailia. To make it a full adventure, you could fly in through Sydney, out through Melbourne, hop over to Tazmania (now that’s going from hot to cold!), and end with a talespin few days in New Zealand. Doeable.

Today is Mother’s Day. My son came home from college to slap some meat on the bar-b-que. With that atmosphere set, the bar-bie blazing ,he announces in a Aussie accent that he is going with me ‘down under’. My daughter’s ears perked up and were almost willing to give up a few weeks of teenagehood to try an exploration like Austrailia. Now there is a relationship investment worth traveling for…time and adventure with your kids.

100 YEARS to LIVE

Filed under: A Runner's Story,Marathon Running — carenware @ 6:50 am

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Click on the picture and it will enlarge.  Click on the song and just sit back and listen to the lyrics.

You are probably going to figure out that FIVE FOR FIGHTING is my favorite group. Don’t know much about them, but love their voices, their lyrics, and their instrumentals.  I just like the feel of this song.  It IS all about how the years go by. It kind of celebrates the intensity we carry when we are young, an intensity that can keep us young if we take it with us all our lives.   You know, our bodies age, but our spirits don’t.  One of the fastest masters sprinters in the world, Bill Collins, just published a book ‘The Spirit of the Ageless Athlete”.  In it, he shows the overwhelming benefits sports can play in a life no matter what the age.  He draws attention to the fact that the same jitters and glee come to a seventy year preparing for a track competition as did when he was a 20-year-old college student running a regional meet.  Same feeling, just different bodies to deal with.  

Karlis Smiltens is my ,just going to turn 90-year-old, friend.  Doing triathlons, runs, and cycling have filled his life and his neat and artistic studio apartment.  He has literally decorated the walls of his home with his age division and finisher awards…all 40 years of them.  It is a walking history through the years of age graded athletic events. He loves every nitty gritty detail on bike components.  He kept stats of every single workout and pace.  He kept a chart of how many firsts, seconds, and thirds he has received.  He smiles and relives events through each one of his trophies and medals.   He also took up hiking and kayaking and has traveled every inch of the Colorado River, through the Grand Canyon and beyond.  He spent an entire frigid day clinging to a rock in the Snake River after a kayak got sucked under the barely submerged rock. But mostly, he survived World War II and the Eastern Front.  As a 17-19 year old Latvian he was caught between the surging Russians and Germans.  His stories and ability to survive are epic.  The War so escruciating I think it still affects him to this day. He wanted to be an artist.  He peeled wall paper off the walls of bombed out buildings and painting the most surreal and haunting water-color paintings of the war.  Those paintings were kept under the floor boards of his apartment until this past summer.  While I was competing in a World Outdoor Track Competition in Finland, I was able to fly over to Latvia and meet him, his sister, and nephew as they brought him back to visit his home country.  He had given most of his war paintings to the War museum in Latvia.  That is a much better place for his pictures and his unique artistry. People need to feel the deep, piercing pain of death and destruction that  war causes in the heart of a sensitive 17 to 19 year old.

Karlis hid out in the woods with a Russian and German and was struck with shrapnel that killed the other two hide-a-ways.  Karlis was forced to be a German Soldier and was trained back to Berlin when found injured.  He snuck to an American Camp and turned himself in.  It took him seven more starving years in London before he was able to get a granted visa to the USA and reunite with his only remaining relative still alive, his sister.  Tough years that seem to make him appreciate being able to freely run, compete, explore, paddle, and hike.  He became a cartoon animator when situated in the states. He never married.  And he has outlived all his friends.  He doesn’t own a computer.  And he visits his mail box every day like Charlie Brown.  Most of us have stopped using mail, but it you do, it would be a great act of kindness to make this older man’s day and write to him:  Karlis Smiltens.  830 High Ave, Redlands, Ca. 92374.  Don’t forget to put a stamp on!

For me, what I learned from Karlis, was to array and display my medals.  I have my 17 USA National Champion Medals and my 3 World Medals, photos, postcards, etc. and hoards of triathlon, marathons, and such all covering the walls of my timing office.  My staff refers to it as the “shrine to myself” and teasingly bow when they enter.  I ,without apology, smile and  know it’s not about the medals, but it is very much about the character they built and the experiences they evoked…and the people it allows me to meet.

We only have 100 years to live!!!

 

Sharing the long road back…an IRON COUPLE

Filed under: A Runner's Story — carenware @ 6:12 am

I got the priviledge to first work with Beth at a packet pick up for Generic Event’s Xterra Crystal Cove Trail Run.  We were in the back-end of an REI store handing out bibs.  A young man quietly sat hunched in a wheelchair and handed out t-shirts. His head was dramatically scarred. Beth was bubbly and cute.  My 17 year daughter, who possess the same comfort in her own skin, adored her personality instantly.  I did too.  Beth said she was a total Hollywood party girl that finally decided that there had to be a healthier way to live.  So off of a friends suggestion, she started training with Team in Training for a traithlon.  She was matched with a coach who was an avid IRONMAN athlete, a successful chiropractor, and single. The rest became an intensely romantic love story.  She said her coach left messages at all her transitions that lead to his kneeling proposal at the finish line.  What a first Triathlon!!  They were married a year later.

Beth bounced from helping registrants to the wheelchaired man handing out t-shirts and gently kissed him.  “Oh, have I introduced you to my husband.  This is Lawrence.”  Life becomes, stabbingly, all that it does not appear to be.  I couldn’t compute this.  Her eyes lost some color and she added, ‘we have had to deal with head trauma.”  Read about their heart squeezing newly wed year. I didn’t need to read it.  I could see it before my eyes.  I took Lawrence’s limp hands and said, “It’s a pleasure to meet you.  You are an IRONMAN.  And you will always be.  You still are.  I KNOW what it takes to be one and that is still inside you.  You are going to use that drive, that will, that whatever to be able to endure this long long race to recover.”  I did not know what else to say.  I just knew that to respond to him like the pure human he was the best and only thing to do.  I watched as almost all the people who entered and exited that expo didn’t acknowledge him.  I think we don’t know how.  It is so disturbing to visibly see human struggle.  Huge, free-flowing tears rolled down Lawrence’s face.  He didn’t want to be in this wheelchair ,crumpled.  He didn’t want to see his wife have to work so hard.  He was passionate about his sport, his life, his newly wed wife…still.  Let’s get past the shock and reach out and be REAL supports to this IRON couple as they deal with a different race in their lives, one they could have never foreseen or wished upon themselves.  One that we hope we can make a difference in.   Encouraging emails and financial support can be offered through their email: Teamfong@gmail.com        

Read More here : http://www.talbertfamilyfoundation.org/pages/Lawrence.html
LA TIME ARTICLE ON FONG – “Sharing the long road back”

May 9, 2010

THE B’S. BRUTAL, BEAUTIFUL, AND THE BEES.

Filed under: Uncategorized — carenware @ 5:12 am

I had my staff time the Xterra Malibu Creek Trail Run so I could run the 22K.  Be reminded I am the track runner, excelling in flat laps around a track.  So taking on a course that has an elevation profile  that looks like an erratic heart beat pattern on a heart monitor was foreboding.  This Xterra course is supposed to be the granddaddy of all Xterra trail runs with an almost 3 mile steady climb up something they call Bulldog.  It immediately decends, blitzing  over 2 miles into a hot valley.  Heart beat hills thereafter…and some calf cramping switchbacks they called “the Backbone” just miles before the finish.   Check out the elevation profile on  Genericevents.com website  http://www.trailrace.com/maps/mctc_14mile_profile.gif

I was so thoroughly taken by the beauty of the area.  The first few miles were actually level through a valley that looked like the floor of Yosemite.  California had finally had a wet winter and the grass and creeks were  in glorious health. There  was stunning vastness and views on the  crests of the Santa Monica mountains and the blue Pacific to backdrop it all.  I was awed save the added challenge of the marsh with the thousands of swarming black bees.  Seriously, we had to run through a 400 yard of buzzed and angry bees…the kind you see in Winnie the poohs invaded bee hives.  They were ground bees and didn’t like their ground being shaken by our pounding feet on the path.

The run was the oddest sensation….the ohh, this is breathtaking with the combined, ugh…this is taking my breath.   Feel good.  Feel bad.  I couldn’t help, but have these miles set the mood for how I was feeling about  losing my running buddy relationship. My breaking heart was brutal, as brutal as these hills, but could I  softened it, somewhat,  with reminding myself of the beauty there is in getting to know another person even though losing them hurts this bad.

Chances are…a new equation.

Filed under: Uncategorized — carenware @ 4:59 am


Instead of writing a lot today, I want you to listen to a song. It rolled through my head all morning. I couldn’t work today. Couldn’t answer phone calls. Couldn’t be around anyone. So I ran. And ran. And ran. Slow, long, rolling miles in the breeze with the leaves lightly whispering. I had no thoughts. I could only feel. And I could finally be glad that I was healthy, alive, and outside. That the sun was warming my face. That the grass smelled crisp. Asking God to show me He was really with me. Trying to celebrate being alone. That little Courage to Change book said I should come to value my own company…that I spend more time with myself than anyone else…that I am the most intimate human relationship I will ever have. How come that feels like ‘not’ right now.

Yesterday, I had a gal ask if we could go for a run after a huge Cinco De Mayo race we timed in Orange County. Fun. Her favorite run was out of her house and lead down Aliso Creek in Aliso Viejo. She was just blocks from my brother. Yeah, good excuse to drop in on my bro, a 6 foot 7 inch LA City Firefighter that carried his native Indian heritage well. Tall, dark-skinned, and handsome. My mom was half Cree Indian. He got the quarter. I got the Canadian in my father.

So I went running with her.  I Trotted along, unsuspecting of the act of friendship she was about to bestow. She proceeded to apologize that my “voiced” man was involved in a new, passionate relationship. I stopped in my tracks. I didn’t know. She thought I did. He met this new interest as she vended at the LA Marathon Expo.  I had gone with hime to pick up our bibs.  I get to replay that exchange of too sparky of an introduction over and over in my head.  Sucks to lose someone you hoped to love…of all things, at a marathon expo.  People are questioning how the Los Angeles Marathon plays into the ‘remoteness’ on a continent pursuit I am endeavoring.  My retort, ” You don’t think LA is the biggest of jungles?”.

So. I am just running today. Feeling. Pondering. I am sure I have caused immense hurt to others by my own actions. But, for me, today.  This voice has.  Why this voice? There are lots of voices in my life. Some very special voices. Some that have special interest in me. So why do I hurt so very much that this ONE voice in my life is gone? The only sound is my feet padding along the pavement. Bye, dear dear person in my life. Chances were…

May 7, 2010

Filed under: A Runner's Story,Marathon Running — carenware @ 3:22 am

RACING AGAINST THE SETTED SUN

Expensive computer boxes, wires, easy ups, generators, little  cutters, start horns.  Hoards of timing pieces are strewn across the driveway.  I have a rake and am frantically piling up leaves to bag.  A freak storm is closing in and there is going to be snow at this 6,000 foot level.  Abandoned in the tasks, I also grapple with mountains of personal life issues I have too little time to resolve.  The deadlines of these race contracts  are intense(its not like you can call any race on the calendar and say,” sorry, not ready for your race…could you put your marathon off until next week?”)  My head is racing faster than my body.

The sun has already splashed its hues of red, yellow, and orange and the twinge has just turned grey. It is getting dark.  I bail on the pine needles and  frantically start tossing equipment in vehicles. The temperature  is dropping  dramatically. Clouds have moved in. I get all the equipment in, but all the tools and racks are disappearing in the darkness. The phone rings.  This is more important to me than any  ‘thing”.  I take the call.  Such an inviting voice.  It always captures me.  Something about it.  It has a mildness mixed with East Coast/ Long Islander.  I am huffing into the phone.  Silence on the other end.  Finally,  “What are you doing?”. I am at 6,000 feet.  I can’t catch my breath to answer.  In those short moments, the world turns black.

I drop on a stump and blurt, “I AM RACING AGAINST….”.  I look around.  I can’t see a thing.  It is pitch black.  In exasperation I finish, “…THE SETTED SUN.”    I slump. I’m not used to not being able to finish what I set out to accomplish. I have will and that will makes me try the impossible. But I can’t beat the setting sun.  I can’t turn back time.  I can’t stop it.  I can’t do the impossilbe and I am stunned.  I am….Failure overwhelms me.  It’s not a bad place.  I can’t be God.

I hear distancing in the voice. A few sentences of idle chatter and the conversation is over.  I hang up. I  am utterly and positively alone.  I can’t see.   I feel the darkness like no other time in my life.  It is so clearly dark. I know that this is not true, but I feel at this moment  there is no  God.  My family is struggling. After 25 years in the marriage trenches I couldn’t keep it up any more. Divorcing. Divorced. I had tried to make the impossible happen.  Friendships are hard to have on the road and  on the go. And something in me is trying to be bigger than I am: more capable than possible. I finally can’t do it.  Somehow,  I tried too hard.

It is so, so very dark. It is cold.  I can’t hold back the tears.   Pain engulfs me and saps even the light in my soul.  All there is is black.  And this is where I must begin to bring light back into my life. This is where I have to take a look at the RACE against the  SETTED SUN.  I actually thought I could out race it.  This is my story.

…”RACING AGAINST THE SETTED SUN”.

THE CHALLENGE:
A MARATHON ON EVERY CONTINENT…

I’m Caren Ware, owner of Prime Time, a very successful timing company. As a runner I hold 17 Time National Track & Field Champion, an American Record Holder in the Masters Heptathlon, World Champion in400m Hurdles. What’s that have to do with meaning and  purpose? Pointlessly nothing.  SO  I am going to attempt to run a marathon on every Continent… remote marathons. Why? The point exactly!  For no other reason than to just do it.

How does the Australian Outback sound?  The Galapagos Islands. Kilimanjaro. The Everest Marathon?  Maybe the Three Countries in Europe Marathon? Zillions to choose from in the states.  Is Los Angeles remote?  It sure is a jungle! And don’t forget that Antarctica is a continent too!This  journey is so much more than a distance of miles… I have lost my route in life.  Its hurts.  I hurt.  Can running  help  find its way? Only one way to find out.  Just  do it. (sure you have heard that slogan before!)  Track with me. This is a journey that I will journal. I have run myself ragged fast tracking  through life. I am  very skilled at running in circles. Always racing.  So is it no surprise  that all my relationships  this past year collapsed? Balls crashing and bouncing loudly to the floor.  I, the master life juggler, looking at the balls on the ground in astonished unbelief. I dropped them! Life in the fast lane spins so many amazing stories, triumphs, mishaps, stupidities, brilliances, while superbly covering up a very different and difficult childhood…for a while, at least. What I really Championed at was being a Time and Activity Addict. My life and this journey will be a book full that I am writing called “RACING AFTER THE SETTED SUN”. I need the journey and maybe you do too. Come with me through my daily journal jots and feel the life, love, pangs, and growth .  I  have stories to tell. Life has stories to tell.   Because… I  know  you will never believe what happened to me today  while RACING AFTER THE SETTED SUN. Read for yourself on CARENWARE.com .
Check the May “Timing Is Everything” Newsletter for much more!

BEST SELF HELP BOOK, a BOOK ON CLIMBING ACCIDENTS?!

Filed under: A Runner's Story,Marathon Running,Uncategorized — carenware @ 2:53 am

Can’t get very far without a map.  I am whirling and spinning.  I need to slow down and listen.  It was suggested I get a book “Courage to Change”.  It’s an Al-anon daily reflection book.  It speaks pages to me.  I combined that with a book I read daily while in college.  My Utmost for His Highest.  So I have put these two books in a backpack and take them with me…daily.  I hope to give you little tidbits out of them because they speak volumes to me. 

But interestingly, before I could even get to a state of soaking in advice from any book I just went traveling.  I went to Australia last October for the World Games.  I took $2000 my 102 year old grandma had given to me when she passed away and went to London in January for the British Pentathlon Championships.  I jumped over to Houston for a few training days on a college track with some of  the top master’s fastest track & field runners.  The bliss of running hurdles at over forty. But I was really just wandering…looking for affirmation of who the core of Caren was.  Why would I need to do this at my age?  I hadn’t a clue.  I knew some of it pulsed from my childhood.   I took self help books on the airplane…and grabbed a climbing adventure book just because the cover picture looked more inviting.

So what did I find to read that really helped?  THE CLIMBING BOOK.  Go figure. I was underlining words in a climbing book like one would do in a self help book.  Here’s why I LOVE climbing and the outdoors,especially mountains and peak challenges.  “Very few climbers climb recklessly.  They don’t live.  Most climbers don’t do it because they have a death wish.  They do it because they think the reward of being out in breathtaking beauty pushing oneself past unimaginable odds and dealing with internal character far outweigh the RISK.  Experiencing them makes us know we are jumping on the chance to LIVE life at that very moment.  Time starts to run out the day we were born.”  As my running friend put it, Life is not a rehearsal, Caren.  It’s the live performance.  You only get to do it once!”

And that is why I think a lot of us run marathons.  It’s not an addiction.  It’s an addition to life.  It gets us out there.

And somehow, the character tools we need to make life happen, to interact and embrace people and situations, grows out of these kinds of experiences.  I read on in the Climbing Book. Being forthright  is a struggle for me.  I was always trying to tell people what they wanted to hear.  And it was causing a LOT of problems in my life.  “Often while climbing on hard or dangerous ground there is a temptation to ignore obstacles and hazards; to forge ahead, hoping for the best.  If you do that and then arrive safely at the next ledge, you can cite this as proof that you acted wisely; that you did the right thing.  But you EVENTUALLY will pay a price for SELF DECEPTION.  There are REAL CONSEQUENCES (sometimes, deadly) in climbing with poor focus, distorted priorities, and sloppy management.  ”  Isn’t that the same with life.  We can count lots of things, as whews, that’s okay to operate that way…we got away with it.  We got through it.  But self deception  blind sides us.  The gist is simple.  “In climbing.  If you are leading and you lie to yourself about anything, if you rationalize or pretend you might get hurt of killed.  I find something appealing about an activity that demands such allegiance to the way things are: that so clearly requires you to face your own fragility, to face the truth. There is something stunning and even gorgeous about the fact that a lie can cause you to take a 30 foot fall onto a ledge, maybe breaking an arm or a leg, maybe even dying of hypothermia if it rains and you didn’t bring a jacket and your partner gets lost going for help.”

This is the clear and very real understanding I needed to have- that LIEING and SELF DECEPTION can cause the utmost and unexpected HARM in my life.  That I am SAFEST in life when I am looking clearly at the truth of any situation and that by ignoring, covering up, or not recognizing makes my life dangerous. TRUTH is the safest way to live. 

 So why is that so hard for me to see, recognize, or even identify what’s real? Why do I cover up and compensate? I know it swirls from my childhood, somehow, and is making my life vulnerable to taking plunges.  

Jan. 27, 2010.  I GET it.  It’s a live performance.  We only get one chance.  Make it a playwrite worth watching and it will be a life that is worth living Caren!  Live on, Caren with impeccable honesty.  Live on a full stage, full of lines and action and characters.  “A couple of climbing acquaintances filled me in on the quite astonishing variety of ways croaking in the Himalayas.Falling off the mountain seemed the least of my worries.  Strokes, heart attacks, pulmonary oedema, cerebral oedema, frostbite, exposure, pneumonia, stone falls, avalanche, crevasses, and runaway yaks each with a name and an instance of someone who had been killed that way…Life was too pleasant and interesting to lose, AND YET, to TURN DOWN an experience like THIS……”

So, that’s why a marathon on every continent in the remotest places I can find. To not turn down an experience like this! 

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