‘It’s not a buffet, dear. you need to keep running.’

“Endurance is about trusting the invisible voice you believe in,
even if nobody else does.
Because there’s just as good a chance as not
that something’s really there.”
— the prophet jennifer pharr davis

She’s looking at the mountain. The invisible voice is calling her.

What’s it like to be a mountain runner who has never lived near mountains? What is the feeling when at last arriving from a life in the lowlands, staring up at the soaring potential, the brand new set of challenges stretching out over the horizon?

One hour to Mt. Ord. A couple of hours to 8,000 feet. A majestic range that may or may not contain gold right in her back yard. Endless trails and climbs at every turn.

The trashed quads. The burning calves. Projectile vomiting and face plants and screaming downhills and flowers and saguaros and lizards and sunrises and switchbacks and a view of forever. A whole new set of training and races and strategy and people and philosophy and life. Learning to be part mountain goat and part chuckwalla.

Endurance is about trusting the voice you believe in, and ignoring the one that wonders exactly why the hell you want to struggle up steep inclines as a means of attaining happiness. “There is no guarantee that things are ever going to get better,” Ms. Davis said of mountain ultras. “But the trail has taught me that if you continue long enough, they usually do.” Usually.

She’ll figure it out. She’s strong and fearless and just crazy enough. She’s already plotting her strategy, one step at a time, a show of respect for a long journey. I hate it when people say they crushed a mountain. The mountain is never crushed. It will be there forever, long after we hit the stop button on our tiny lives. She knows this.

“If you don’t have a challenge, find one,” Dr. Sheehan wrote. She has found hers, halfway to the sky.

The invisible voice says to start climbing. There’s as good a chance as not that what she’s searching for is at the top.

She looks at the mountain once more.

And then it’s time to begin the journey.

About gary

no sock monkeys were harmed in the making of this blog.
This entry was posted in margarine and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to ‘It’s not a buffet, dear. you need to keep running.’

  1. unironedman says:

    As someone who has just ‘discovered’ mountain running (and by discovered, I mean, had the courage to finally try it), I absolutely love this piece. Okay, full disclosure: I may have said I love all your work, and that’s true, too 🙂

  2. Jessica says:

    Thanks for seeing me

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