Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Sawtooth Relay and so much more #SawtoothRelay #relax #keeponlearning #stthomassunvalley

The Sawtooth Relay is a 12 leg, 62-mile race in which teams of 6 runners each run 2 legs. The race begins in beautiful Stanley, ID and ends in Ketchum. I've run it 5 or 6 times but this year did not get on a team. However, the night of Robie Creek I was listening to Irish music at Shangri-la Tea Room I shared a table with the couple that puts on the Sawtooth Relay. He mentioned they needed help with the race and I asked specifically what that might be. 

Russ & Joy on Friday at 11. 
When he said he needed an announcer, I said, "oh that sounds fun but what else you got?" He replied, "well, we need some people to run the exchanges, but we really need someone to be an announcer." I started to pay attention as it dawned on me that perhaps he was asking me to consider this--that maybe this was an answer to one of my prayers of late: to get out and do new things. So, pending approval from Russ, the main announcer whom I know from skiing, I agreed. Russ approved!

Russ & Joy Saturday morning after a long night of race starts.
I was so nervous Friday night I couldn't sleep. I lay in bed for hours anxiously awaiting my 2:45 a.m. alarm. Finally sleep came at 1 I arrived for my training session at 3:30. All went super well and I had more and more fun as I relaxed. We finished at about 6 on Saturday night and I went to bed at 8. Then slept until 9 on Sunday [yay!] after which I had the best day: I went to church, saw some friends, made a new one, and spent the afternoon with an old friend. My weekend concluded with a long run along the Wood River Trail

Here's where I really started to see how much I've changed in the last year:
In the past when I've done this race I've rushed to get back home to do something (I'm not sure what) or to be back by Monday (I'm not sure why). Maybe I felt safer at home. Maybe all the decisions that can be made in a day full of unstructured time were too overwhelming. No matter what the reason, I could not be in my body in the place where my feet were planted.

My parking space.
But this year was totally different. I wasn't thinking about anything else (well, I was thinking of sleep, truth be told); I wasn't constantly checking my phone to see who was texting (no one, in case you were wondering); I wasn't wondering when the next meal would be. In fact, when I was with my friend I wasn't even trying to hurry it along so I could get back to do some vague something that wasn't really urgent or even existent! 

Then, when I was looking at places to run and wondering if I could fit in 15 miles that day, I suddenly realized that there was no other place I was supposed to be other than on that trail in the Wood River Valley. I was filled with peace like I have rarely experienced before. 

As I drove home I realized that this strange feeling of calm, quite and contentment is what some call "serenity" and what I call "loving what I'm doing" [as in "do things you love"]. I am so grateful that finally I am learning what I love, what I want, where I want to be. And that I can do this for myself any time.
On your mark, get set, go!!
The Sawtooth Mountains in the a.m.

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