One step at a time...
The past few months have been chaotic. In just the past 10 days, I’ve driven to California, ran over a 100 miles in six days, driven back. I continue to wonder what the heck it is I do…
Now, it feels like nothing matters. I have the same feeling of despair that I had on January 20th and on November 8th. Trump pulling the U.S. out of Paris is numbing. Okay, what next?
I know how privileged I am compared to the rest of the world, and maybe it’s within this privilege lies my paralysis, my inability to know what to do regarding climate change. Regarding everything unfair in this world.
I go to sleep thinking about the women kidnapped by Boko Harem.
I wake up thinking about the servicemen and women, like my older brother, Eric, sacrificing their lives to protect our country, to protect our freedom.
Every time I blink I think about the state of our world’s oceans, about the 1 billion people who will go hungry when the reefs and fisheries finally collapse for good. Climate change is such an insidious beast. Why aren’t we doing more to combat it?
Why is our president pulling out of the Paris Climate agreement?
Why does ISIS exist?
Why are gay people discriminated against?
Why do poor, black people get treated so unfairly in the U.S. judicial system when it comes to minor offences?
Wealthy people can afford bail and avoid jail. Poor people cannot afford bail and subsequently a minor offense can turn into the worst thing in the world for someone’s life. Potential to lose a job, child custody, a fair life.
My other older brother, Scott, is interning at a public defender’s office in Colorado this summer. After he graduates law school in a year, he’ll likely work there. Every story he tells me is the most depressing story you can imagine. Worse than the dying coral reefs, because the unfairness is so blatant. So wrong. So present. Less insidious. Actually visibly toxic, racist, unconstitutional.
I can’t stop thinking about how messed up this world is, and subsequently I question why I run so much. Would my time be better spent doing something else? My parents afforded me an incredible education. I’ve had the opportunity to travel extensively, and now I still have such opportunities through running. I’m beyond grateful for the support of sponsors, supporters, friends and family. But sometimes, on days like today, I wonder why I run so much and what else I could do to help the world.
For instance, why am I putting so much into one race: Western States 100? I’ve been training my butt off preparing for a good race and will lay it all out there. But it’s just a race. A race that has very little significance compared to the things I go to sleep thinking about.
And on top of the preparation, the training, doing the little things, there are practically infinite moments when I feel absolutely horrible running. When I’m exhausted just walking. When I wonder how I’ve had the past year I’ve had utlrarunning competitively. When my heart rate is 180 on a recovery run. HOW AM I GOING TO BUST OUT AT STATES WHEN I FEEL LIKE THIS? And, why does it matter??
Well, I need to accept that there will always be many unanswered questions. That I cannot give a crap about the things that don’t matter. And that right now, ultrarunning does really matter to me. One step at a time, I must believe that answers will come.