Meditation Month

For the month of February, I set out to meditate each day.  Well……this just didn’t work very well for me.  I honestly tried.  Sitting still and breathing was helpful and sometimes relaxing and peaceful, but a lot of times it just made me itch.  My whizzing mind flipped the rolodex of To-Do’s and time seemed to be very much a stand still suck.

What to do about this meditating thing?  I began painting.  Painting lets my mind breeze over colors and just about nothing else.  I relax into only the task at hand.  The To-Do list goes away, the laundry piles up, the dinner becomes sandwiches….like a bad habit, but GOOD!

What to paint?

Dogs, duh.

Then…..I liked it so much, I opened up a little business: POOCHPAINT.

I’m not sure if that fits into the whole meditation thing…to make a business, but oh well.

PicMonkey Collage2

PicMonkey Collage

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2015 Nationals XC Championships

epeacephotography
epeacephotography

Bless me, it has been two years since my last real race.  GREAT!  Let’s go back to Nationals Cross Country at altitude!  Absolutely.

And here’s why.  There is simply no other race that hurts so much, checks your ego so hard, and runs the clock into no man’s land.  It’s an epic battle between your nerves, your ego, and your lungs.  Nothing else matters.  Except the team.

epeacephotography
epeacephotography

And that’s the best part.  To be truly supported and part of a team.  Injuries have been haunting, but Oiselle lifted me up though the help of Monica & Joe DeVereese at Santa Barbara Running Company.  My leg got put back together with the help of Mike Swan, Ernie Ferrel, and Dave and Deanna Odell.  The team welcomed me back to training for this national event, and that always feels like gold.

The actual race was quite a challenge.  I could not handle high mileage due to my leg and incorporated cross training and cryotherapy into my routine.  My race plan was established with care and I executed it perfectly.  Meaning, go out slow and just hang ON!

The beauty was in the reality.  Welcomed by team Oiselle, I experienced an entirely new cheering quad yelling my name with enthusiastic smiles at each lap.  This included Oiselle founder Sally Bergesen, team leader Kristin Metcalfe, and pro super star athlete Lauren Fleshman.

epeacephotography
epeacephotography

I literally looped the marshmallow surface course sucking oxygen through a straw up my nose while Lauren cheered “Go Drea, Great job Drea.”  This is a woman who I personally watched complete the NYC Marathon suffering to the bitter end.  I also witnessed her cling way off the back at the Olympic trials 5K in Eugene.  Why did she do that?  She had earned the right to be there, suffered through injury, worked out on an ElliptiGo with literally 12 miles of running a week….BUT STILL SHOWED UP and FINISHED the OT in the 5K at Hayward Field in front of a thousand fans.  I met Lauren the next morning after her OT at breakfast- I sat gushing like a teenager- and she graciously took a photo with me and answered all my questions.

epeacephotography
epeacephotography

And here I was.  At Nationals again on one leg, from sea level, feeling old, and yet… a part of something great.  To me, this is what running is.  It’s putting yourself out there- wide and raw.  When you rock it you glow and fist pump, when you fail you cry and weep, when you do your best you accept what you did and feel an amazing admiration for those that fly so much beyond your capacity.

I’m proud that I once again put myself out there.  I’m humbled by the race.  I’m thankful by the enormous support.  I’m pleased that I had yet another chance to suffer.

And suffer I did.  However, not stupidly.  Coming from sea level, I ran the smartest and most controlled race I could have done.  I finished 61st ranking very close to my St. Louis performances and finished with a only your mother will be watching sweet kick.  It was a good day.  A blessing.

epeacephotography
epeacephotography

Thank you to those that got me there.

To be Humble

We praise it and we announce it as good.  To be humble.  Be humble.  Be worthy.  What does it mean to be humble?  What does it really mean?

The definition of humble?

1.  Not proud or arrogant, modest.  Great!  That sounds good.  However, why exactly not proud?  Should one not be proud of accomplishments, children, relationships, great hair, big…feet, a good deed.  Why is pride within reason so terrible?  It isn’t.  Self deprecation is NOT humility.  “You’re really talented.”  “Oh no, I’m not, I suck really.  You just haven’t seen talent, but thank you.”  STOP IT!  Try this: “You’re really pretty, I love your hair.”  “Thank you very much.  I work hard on it to make it look this way, thank you for noticing.”  Of course you can exchange the word hair for ass, car, smile, shoes, yard, spouse, deed….. Things that appear great were often earned.  Be thankful that you had the ability to work for them, but be proud that you got the job done.

2.  Having a feeling of insignificance, inferiority, subservience.  For example, in the presence of so many great runners, I feel VERY humble.  Now that isn’t a bad thing right?  Nope.  However, would you want your child to feel insignificant and inferior?  When you give someone a pep talk do you say, “NOW GO OUT THERE AND BE HUMBLE!”  On Sunday, in the locker rooms, do you think there will be chants involving this word?  I don’t think so.

3.  Low in rank, status, origin, lowly.  For example, please come to my humble home.    Realtors should latch heavy onto this word humble like they do CHARMING (old), QUAINT (old), UNIQUE (old), READY FOR YOUR FINISHING TOUCHES (tear down piece of shit), RARE OPPORTUNITY WITH VISION (shit hole!).  Now tell someone to be humble.

4.  Courtesy, respectful.  Awesome!  This sounds like our winning example of humble.  However, how do you use it?  “In my HUMBLE opinion, you are wrong.”  Meaning quite the opposite really.  Excuse me sir, but you’re fucking wrong.  You’re just incorrect.  In my humble opinion, you’re very very far from right.  Does this really sound humble?  Nope.  Perfect.

5.  Low in height and level, small in size.  Uh-um.  Examples?  Really?  I’ll let Shakira sing it, “Lucky that my breasts are small and humble so you don’t confuse them with mountains.”

6.  Lower in condition, importance, dignity, abase.  The next time someone calls you HUMBLE, you might want to tell them to fuck off.

7.  To destroy power, independence or will of.  Now it’s a verb.  Example, Your ass just got humbled!  In other words, your clock was cleaned, your ass was kicked, your shit was knocked, your bitch was slapped, your mother was called by you crying and wanting a hug.

8.  To make meek.  This is my favorite version of humble.  To humble your heart.  To use all your power and empathy to listen to the sufferings of others, to be present.  To engage.  To witness.  To cheer.  To compliment.  To share.  To laugh and to cry.  To share the experience of life through pain and pleasure.  To understand the faults and short comings of others without forgetting your own.  To not judge.

I don’t think anyone should really be humble, but we should all be Meek Geeks.

Peace Out!

2006_0826 Kicking the Tires -- Calgary & Banff (228)