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Ten Things I'm Thankful For

Posted Jul 02 2012 12:00am
Bad runs. They make you appreciate the good ones. I felt like crap on Saturday, felt better Sunday, and then felt somewhere in between but more toward the bad end of the spectrum today. I made myself do strides, and I felt like I had lead legs. But at least I made myself go faster. And I did do my lifting routine and my abdominal workout today, which means I am officially back in it.

Badwater. I love the place and the ultramarathon event named after it. It's become such a fun part of my life. This is my ninth trip out there in 10 years. I love the friends I've made through that event, the memories I have from all my experiences there, the things I've learned about running ultras, extreme conditions, and my own physical and mental abilities as an endurance athlete. It's hard to imagine a summer without a visit to Death Valley to be involved in some way with the race.

I can't wait to arrive in Las Vegas and feel the scorching heat when I walk out of the airport, pick up my rental car, and drive with the windows down all the way to Furnace Creek with the burning air blasting through my hair like a blow dryer. Plus I found a great deal on a room for one night on my way back at the Furnace Creek Inn, which normally is way out of my price range, and I'm going to indulge, hang out at the pool and veg until I have to go back to Vegas to fly home. I might even allow myself some ice cream.

Impending big birthdays. They motivate me, make me want to improve on things in my life over the coming decade. They give me a reason to look forward, think positive thoughts, and dream of what's possible. I still have one more little birthday before I hit the big 5-0, but the gears are grinding at full speed and I intend to do something big, and fun.

Humidity. The good thing about humidity, besides making you pour sweat, is that it means monsoon season is here, and that means rain isn't far behind. We need it. Not torrential rain on the areas that got hit by the fire, though, please.

July. The days are getting shorter, and I'm very happy about no fireworks this year. I know people with kids will be disappointed, but I really hate fireworks, other than the ones that are in organized, municipally sponsored displays. Why? Because they are a tool of the clueless, but sometimes intentionally mean people, that terrorizes animals. Isabelle is terrified of them. Isabelle's birthday is the day after 4th of July and for once she will be able to enjoy her birthday without spending the entire night before trembling and stressed out.

Raspberries. Our raspberries are out of control! Every day I've been picking an entire bowl and eating them or blending them up in smoothies. Awesome!

Trails. When you can't run trails for a long time, it makes you miss them, and we have even more reason to appreciate our trails in Fort Collins, because they could have gone up in flames, but they didn't. Horsetooth Mountain Park and Lory State Park have intact trails, thanks to the efforts of the firefighters.

Firefighters. They should inherit the earth. They deserve to be worshipped. They are amazing, courageous, unselfish, true heroes. It's been so heartbreaking to see the pictures of the damage and hear the stories of those who lost so much. At the same time, I am forever grateful to those firefighters, because Kathleen and Steve were able to return to their intact, undamaged home in Colorado Springs. Troy went back to his unscathed home last week. And Dale has not been threatened by any fires because the High Park fire was under control before it could move south. Let's hope that continues.

Good post-colonoscopy pathology reports. Dennis is off the hook for a long time. I'm up next. Unless they come up with that cure for the common colonoscopy in the next 2 years.

My dad. Two of my friends lost their fathers this past week. A reminder that our time here is temporary, and we need to make the best of it, every day. My dad is in fairly good health in general, for someone with a potentially life-threatening disease. It's one of those things you always keep in the back of your mind, while his health is good and stable, it wouldn't take much to disrupt that and push him over the edge, either. We're making plans to go out and visit my dad and stepmom at the beach in California later this summer.

I am thankful for all these things and people and a whole lot more, that I haven't even mentioned, and above all Dennis and the Buffaloes. Things are good in my world. I'm thankful for that. And one day at a time, finding an adventure.
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