So, I Googled "how to write a blog" and the first thing that caught my eye was the header "Say Goodbye to Doubt, Fear, and Confusion" and it reminds me that these are the feelings we have when we start something new. At the beginning of each L.A. Ultra Ladies Season, I see doubt, fear, and confusion in the posture of the new ladies. Something I take for granted, running 15 or 20 or more miles on the trail, is the cause of their trepidation but my years of running ultra marathons has taught me that I know I can handle anything and the newcomers may still have yet to learn this.
In the spirit of not retreating back to my comfort zone of technical writing, I will instead write about my year of doubt, fear, and confusion. Three days after Christmas in 2016, I got the call from my surgeon and heard four words that changed my life; "you have breast cancer". 16-months, three surgeries, a DVT and bilateral pulmonary embolisms later I am coming back from a very long layoff and my treatments continue with the use of anti-estrogen and anticoagulant medications so I am feeling the doubt, fear, and confusion that is common to us all when we face a challenge, but I want you to know that I also believe the quality that makes a good ultra runner and cancer thriver (sorry, I hate the word survivor), is the willingness to stand in the presence of doubt, fear, and confusion and keep on keeping on. I mean, that's what ultra runners do... right, left, repeat... when the going gets tough, the tough get going, and it's a fact that not everyone can do that! Some people prefer to just quit and will never know how strong they are because doubt, fear, and confusion are just too scary for some to face.
I am so grateful for the lessons that trails have taught me and how useful these lessons have been for me in the last several months. So my advice to the newbie ultra runners, or those who toe the starting line at their first 100-mile race or those who face a catastrophic life event or who just want to write a blog is "Embrace Doubt, Fear, and Confusion". Embracing is the way through doubt, fear, and confusion. Know that this is your journey and what you are made for and wonderful changes are coming your way. Embrace!