Ten Years Strong

Running can sometimes seem like a chore or a second job. Get up before daybreak each morning and go through the routine: get on gear, wash face, throw hair in hat, eat something light, coffeecoffeecoffe, then hit the road by sun up. To the athlete, though, it's anything but misery. Of course, there may be some tough parts, but those are the parts that we love the most--the challenge, give it to us raw. Activity refreshes our bodies and our minds. To me, it feels more like the calm of the ocean once you find that rhythm. Peaceful waves washing over your being and forgetting what you're even doing out there. Your mind and body in sync, but without thought and you're just catching that wave in some moment of bliss that you can't even remember how you got there. That's what it's like to do what you love.

My racing season is done, complete back in November. It was a good run this year, focusing most of my energy on trail racing and finding a new love for dirt. This year marks my 10 year anniversary as a competitive runner and I couldn't be more happy to have found my niche out here in Hawaii. I've had runner friends in all corners of the world, but my Hawaii runner friends are truly down to Earth. This sort of style is refreshing. Overall, people here are resourceful, mindful, and caring.  If you need help, we got you; you want to win, we support your focus; you want to do more miles, then we'll do those miles with you, too. Perhaps this doesn't sound much different than most others' running experiences, but I've been blessed to run casually with some of the fastest on the island and have had the absolute best time enjoying such great company at my own pace. No one minds the cadence--it's all island vibes here.

What is it, though? What is it about running, or about sport? I was never some track star in college. I played sports, but my dad and brother were the stars of their day. Me? I just love having fun and delving deep into that personal challenge. Make it a Saturday or a Sunday and find me missing for most hours of the day. There is nothing better to me than pushing the human body to do more than what you think it is cable of accomplishing; blasting through that human experiment and proving that you're always capable of more than you give yourself credit.

Each week I run through the National Park where I work. The weather can sometimes be unpredictable on the volcano, but I dress accordingly. On the weekends, I run alongside the ocean. Each time, I find myself "coming back to Earth"--that's what I say out there on a tough day. Any amount of time outside is all that I can hope for and in those moments I am free--doing what I love, loving life and everyone in it. I couldn't ask for anything more.

I am ever so thankful for these 10 years, and I hope to continue running for many, many more. It's not about the race, it's about the journey--so cliche, but I've never been more happy of my time spent on this Earth. Thanks to all for the incredible support all of these years. Life, man. It's quite the wonderful thing. Keep on keeping on. Aloha


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