Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Inspiration: In Unassuming Form

As part of the Trail Runner Blog Symposium, I was asked to reflect on someone who inspires me in the trail running community.  At first, I was a little disappointed we wouldn't be tackling another controversial topic.  But then, I smiled, thinking about the person who most makes me want to run.  Run 100 miles, that is.

I can't remember the first time I met Eric Glass.  It's like I've known him forever.  I often joke that 'he's the little brother I never wanted', cause that's how I see him.  As family.  When you've grown up and moved away, your family expands to include the friends you surround yourself with and I'm glad Eric stumbled into my life.

Family hanging out and hiking at the Grand Canyon.

How does he inspire me?  When he sets a goal, he runs and runs and runs and doesn't complain and doesn't over-analyze.  He doesn't worry about every minuscule detail and whether or not he's done enough track workouts or hill repeats.  He thinks about his diet 90% of the time, but allows himself room to celebrate and enjoy life.  He puts in the work during training so that on race day, it's not a question of if, but how.  He makes me believe that I, too, can run 100 miles, a lofty dream I've had since the day I saw him run his first 100.

Getting a little rub down between loops at JJ100.

Stretching.  Keeping it loose at JJ100.

When Eric signed on to run the Javalina Jundred in 2010, I was first in line to be crew chief.  I wanted to be drill sergeant and crack the whip when need be.  Turns out, I was the one to be schooled.  I was first to witness the power of positive mindset, and attitude, and conviction.  My experience, crewing and pacing for Eric at JJ100, was my first lesson in what is really required to finish 100 miles and what a beautiful thing it is to witness someone, completely in their element, doing something extraordinary. 

Eric and crew finishing up JJ100. 

Pride, strength, commitment.  And a few great friends to help you along.

Eric moved away last winter, to blend with the family of the girl he loves.  I miss our chats about training over beer and pizza.  I miss having a running partner that doesn't care if it's 4 AM or how many laps we run around Tempe Town Lake.  I miss having someone I can call and say, 'let's go hit the trails'.  But even from across the miles, he inspires me and makes me want to be a better trail runner.  To go for my goal, even if it's lofty.  I just pray that when it's my turn, I'll complete 100 miles with just as much grace and strength as he did.  And if all goes right, he'll be there to run the last 1/4 mile by my side.   

Toasting to a good day on the trails, North Rim Lodge.

No comments: