Tomorrow, I will attempt the McKenzie River Trail Run 50K. This will be the longest I have ever ran ...on any surface, though it just happens to be traversing volcanic rocks, thrushes filled with bees and wasps, and the sides of cascading waterfalls with rooty, winding trails concealed by dappled sunlight.
I remember that I wanted to do this. I remember that I signed up for this voluntarily. I also remember that I have a lot of people cheering for me and hoping for me and encouraging me. This brings me great strength and comfort. It will get me through the brushy reeds where the wasps stir on the backside of Clearlake. It will steady my footfalls across the craggy lava rocks by Blue Pool. It will give me focus along those uneven paths, compelling me to take one more step and than one more still.
Thank you so much to everyone who has helped me along this path. There are too many to name. But I would like to single out my coach.
Coach Joe Henderson, who never once doubted that I could do this, thank you so much. Coach said from the beginning that I had this. He said it would be fine. He unfalteringly believed in me, even when others didn't. And he continues to tell me that I can and will get this done. Plus, Coach has never treated me any different because I have MS, or because I am a woman, or because I am a mom, or older, or any of the things that my head tells me make me an exception. He has always been enthusiastic and supportive and encouraging. I have many cheerleaders but I only have one Coach. Thanks Joe. Thank you so much.
With Coach Joe Henderson at the finish of the Eugene Marathon, May 10, 2015
Photo courtesy of Michael Leowitz, Long Run Picture Co.