Jon and I went up to McCall late on Friday night. It was nearly dark when we left Nampa...Joy safely tucked in bed with G'ma at the house to care for our precious piece of life. We arrived exhausted from a long week of firsts, first xc meet (Jon is the coach), first week of school for kids, first week of full volleyball games, etc. I slept in the back of the Durango with the dog. Jon slept on the ground outside. I didn't set an alarm but woke up about 6:45am with some light. We got up and quickly got to work since we two summits to climb and some miles to run in between.
In the HARD places, is where the real work happens. I'm trying to focus on the shedding of my old self which looks more like scar tissue being broken up or like a sledge hammer breaking up concrete. Once these things are loosened up, it gives way for water, air and sunshine that cultivates growth for a sprout that is my true thirsty self, so desperate to drink and grow. I want to develop this growth. This way of BEING, me being the self I was created for and meant to BE from the beginning. This manifested on trail of the second of two HARD climbs for our run. The climb up Snowslide (first climb) is a crazy level of hardness. Jon was staying behind me and this was bothering me so much. He kept saying he just wanted to go at my pace, that bugged me to an inappropriate level. Jon is experienced on trails, stronger than any human man I've known. Never once was he on my heels or doing anything annoying, it was just that he was behind me, potentially watching me. This was clearly MY issue and about me, nothing that he was doing. I was so frustrated and eventually demanded that he go in front. I didn't want to be responsible for his training, or lack thereof. He said "I am my own person and I can make sure I get my training needs met". Nonetheless, he went on. I kept asking myself what the big deal was and why couldn't I be okay with him behind me.
Enter a couple of hours later as we are climbing up the Fall Creek trail (second climb) which is another ass killer of a climb. Jon was running ahead of me and would run back to where I was a couple of times, just to say hi and then carry on. Eventually he had stopped to give the dog water and I was in a good rhythm so I passed him. We had just over a mile of steep climbing to do. Because of my raw mental state (what happens with miles on end of 1000' of gain per mile) I got very upset after he and the dog caught up to me to just stay behind me. In an exacerbated fashion, he did not understand why I couldn't be okay with him just hanging back behind. He went ahead in a tone of being stonewalled and I felt bad knowing this was about me and my issue. He did not return to check on me this time...I asked myself repeatedly, WHY CAN I NOT BE OKAY WITH HIM BEHIND ME?! I nearly asked it out loud. The answer was loud and clear. I want Jon to think I am strong. I want him to think good of me and I desire his acknowledgement of this. Having him behind me on a climb is NOT showing him strength. It's showing him my frailty. This...THIS...is my scar tissue, concrete, old ways of being. Giving power to the man in my life that doesn't belong to him. Whether it's my dad, my adult son, or the man in my life, the power of knowing I am strong doesn't belong to a person. That power should rest safely in my spirit. Climbing is my relative weakness. It exposes the side of me that stops for rests. It lays raw this part of me that I don't like. To show that side of me to the one I've given power of deciding whether or not I am strong is like a lose-lose situation. In that brutally exposed moment of seeing the scar tissue/concrete for what it is, I began to lose my composure. I was still heavily climbing and could not keep my breathing. I bent over, hands on knees and had some minutes of letting myself cry at what I saw. Finally, I stood up AND CARRIED ON! This new idea of what I had just realized was sitting very heavy on my heart. I knew what I had seen was true. The extremely overwhelming idea of how I could ever change was daunting to say the least. I crested the summit and took some pictures. We started heading down and I began to ask my Creator, how will I ever be able to know that I'm good/strong in my weaknesses if it doesn't come from my Dad or any other man I've given said power to? It's not going to be relative to others or dependent on any other human. In the same way I know I'm strong enough for other things, I will learn and know in my depths that I am strong on the climb, in life, in whatever. I will know this and grow this sprout of knowing. Period!
It felt exhaustive mentally to do this work. A mentor of mine says the reason people don't do this work is because it's hard. A couple weeks ago when I visited with her she asked, "Do you know why people don't do this kind of inner work?" I replied, "Yes I know why. Because it's so hard." I added, "You know why people don't run 100 miles?" She quickly smirked and said "Yes, I do!". I won't quit. I won't quit on myself, I won't quit at working on myself and I won't quit at IMTUF!