Follow your heart

I realized something yesterday. Something kind of amazing. I have the heart of an athlete. I’m not talking about VO2max, or endurance strength. I’m talking about a spirit of adventure. The desire to push my body to see what it’s capable of, to constantly challenge myself and reach for new highs. That’s new for me. Even when I ran when I was in my 30’s, that desire wasn’t there. Running was a means to an end then, it was about weight management and stress relief. It was never about challenging myself.

I made this realization on a trail hike at Devil’s Tower, Wyoming. It was not a challenging hike at all, in fact it was really easy. But, as I looked up that sheer rock face, it dawned on my that I would like to try my hand at scaling that wall. Now, if you read my last post, or if you were looking at the Badlands from a satellite position somewhere above the atmosphere on Thursday, and you saw me crab walking down that crumbly, sheer faced rock, you’re probably laughing out loud about now. I know that I’m not physically up to the challenge of climbing Devil’s Tower, but I also know that I could be. And, that will be something I work toward over the next year. Wow, never thought I would say that.

The last two days have been filled with fun adventures. Gary & I are early risers and we hit the major tourist attractions in and around Deadwood. Mount Rushmore was on Friday, after a really early start in order to get a sunrise shot in the Badlands. Mount Rushmore deserves its own post, though, so that will probably be tomorrow’s blogpost as we begin the journey back home. Gary went back to Upton, Wyoming today to compete in a motorcycle race, and I’m left to my own devices. The first order of business was a really nice long run on George S Mickelson Trail, a rails to trails project that begins in Deadwood and ends over a 100 miles up the track. I only ran the first 3.5 so that I could get in a 6 miler, but it was truly a beautiful, worship filled run. It was just me, the deer, lots of rabbits, and God. I stopped often and made pictures, so it wasn’t a particularly fast run, but I made up for it on the last 3 miles. I’m only including one of those images here.

There may come a day that I can no longer run, no longer dream of the ability to scale a sheer rock face. But, praise God, today is not that day.