Times like these are when I miss my Dad the most. I’d give ANYTHING to sit on the back porch with him and tell him the story I am about to tell you. So if you don’t mind… I’m going to address this one to him.
You wouldn’t believe all of the things I did on Friday night and Saturday. Me, your bookish awkward daughter. I know that you were so proud of my running but to be honest since you passed away I haven’t run as much. It made me too sad because running gave me time to think. Quite frankly I didn’t want to think. I still miss you and I always will. But I think I may be healing a little. I’m starting to pick back up running and am trying new things. Part of those new things included going to this seminar. I will tell you that a very different Heather left that Christmas tree farm on Saturday than the one who naively rolled in on Friday night.
Remember when you took Holly and I canoeing and taught us how to tip over the canoe so we could learn to save ourselves? Well this weekend reminded me of that. I learned some really cool things that I can use if I ever get lost or decide to go trekking in the wilderness. I learned how to fuel myself to perform well at endurance events. I learned about shoes, socks, and other foot care. I learned how to pack a ruck, what to pack in a ruck, and how to adjust my ruck for comfort. So much valuable information. You’d have loved it!
In fact, some of this information we were supposed to use when we did a community service project to help clear out a woman’s yard. Everyone else is hard headed like me, so we all did things the old fashioned way and lifted/carried those logs out of her yard. It was really nice to be able to give back and do something nice for someone else. It was a great team effort! You would have enjoyed talking to Mrs. York. She owns a beautiful place and has beautiful horses. I think she was tickled pink that we got so much done.
I learned how to use a compass too! (Stop laughing, I really did). You would have gotten a kick out of watching the 11 of us learn how to use the compass and orientate our way to find different points throughout the farm. We were hot, hungry, caffeine deprived, thirsty, and at some points hopelessly confused. I will admit I got a little grumpy. But with the excellent instruction, several missteps and help from Matt it finally clicked. Imagine that, your directionally challenged oldest daughter, learned how to navigate using a compass (from an outhouse to a Christmas tree no less, I thought you’d find that funny).
Dad, you would have also enjoyed the people at the seminar. They really made me feel welcome and seemed to offer timely encouragement at the times that I needed it most. Kelli, Amber, Kerri, Alyssa, Matt, Austin, Blake, Kert, Glen, and Juliana were amazing. Such an awesome group to go through this experience with. You would have loved their sense of humor. I think you’d like Matthew and Tanya too. I can just see y’all comparing embarrassing stories about me and my clumsiness. You would have loved. Liana, John, and Mrs. Waller too. They all made the experience so enriching.
One of the things we did was a 7 mile sunrise ruck, this was immediately after about 3.5 hours of rest. I say rest, because I couldn’t sleep. So we set out with loaded packs to ruck 7 miles in the Georgia sunshine together. The rules were to finish in 3.5 hours and to finish together. Dad, this was one of my favorite parts of the weekend. There’s just something about being outside in that fresh air, being surrounded by the countryside that soothes my soul. The ruck covered various terrains and views, including highway and dirt road.
I REALLY enjoyed this, even as the pack got heavier as the second half of the ruck seemed to be uphill the entire way. (I’m not exaggerating, it kept going and going). In typical Heather fashion, I enjoyed the people. I think I got to know Kerri, Amber, and Kelli more on that ruck than any other time in the past. And I am thankful for that. More than they will ever know. Their stories and advice has given me the confidence to move forward into this crazy, I mean different new venture. I also enjoyed chatting with every single person this weekend. Every single one of them has left an impact on me!!I learned so much from each and every one of these amazing people.
We all have our demons inside and Lord knows I am still working on mine. But Dad, I hope I make you proud. This weekend was tough. They made me do all of these things without coffee!!! So I have to tell you that Kerri’s Dad is one of the best people EVER for bring us ice cold Cokes after that ruck. I don’t drink sodas but that was the best darn coke I have ever had.
Sorry, I got distracted thinking about caffeine :). I learned a lot this weekend. A lot of skills that I can apply. I also learned that when it comes down to it, my why is stronger than my excuses. I may be weaker. I may be slower. I may be (lots) less agile but hopefully everyone who knows me will say “Yeah, I know Heather. That girl doesn’t have quit in her, even when she struggles she always has a smile (or a grimace lol)”. At least that is my goal.
I love you Daddy. Always and forever. I know that you will be with me when I tackle The Gauntlet in August. I will make you proud.
PS… To my readers.. thank you for following along with this series. If you are interested in one of these endurance racing camps, please keep a look out on The Gauntlet for further updates!! I hope that you will stay around and follow me as I train for The Gauntlet in August!!
Click here to enter to win an entry into The Gauntlet!! http://www.shortyruns.com/?p=79