Pay It Forward

You know when Facebook makes a noise and you see the notification is from someone you don’t recognize. Someone you friended when Facebook was new and you just wanted all the friends you could get. >PING< Who is this? >PING<>PING<>PING<

The message is long. Who is this!? Reading, she apologizes for being ‘creepy’, and identifies herself as someone who I went to summer camp with 12 years ago. 12 YEARS ago! An image of a chubby me in braces carrying a riding crop and mucking stalls flashes in my head. I think back to the cheers, the horse back riding lesson, being too self conscious to put my swim suit on and swim on the hot July days. I remember family style dinners and waking up before the sun to hike up the huge hill to the horse pastures.

Ashley’s e-mail begins by talking about an inspiring talk she had heard (I wondered if she’s as obsessed with TED talks as I am,) the speaker talked about the power of kindness. Ashley said my 13 year-old self had comforted her when she was homesick. That something I said impacted her not only in that moment but she had carried it with her for the last decade and a half. The idea of being open, caring and honest without fear of judgment had led her to be as compassionate as she says my 13 year old self was. I was speechless after I read the message. I had no idea how to respond. I was in shock that something I had done when I was so young had been kept close to someone’s heart for so long. I remembered the girl, I remembered  that summer, but I didn’t remember that moment.

So I thought back to a time where I felt vulnerable and someone had helped me. I wrote Ashley back, thanking her for thanking me (awkward,) and said that she had inspired me to ‘pay it forward’ and tell someone from my past how much I appreciated a small act of kindness and tell them how it had effected me. Just by acknowledging these small acts I think inspire people to continue to do them. We don’t do them for recognition or gratitude,  most of the time we don’t even know the things that may have profound influence on someone else, but I think the acknowledgment can be really powerful.

So I did. I emailed someone and thanked him. I don’t expect a response or a ‘thank you’ in return. I wanted him to know how he had made me feel on a certain day and maybe it will encourage him to think back to a time and ‘pay the thanks forward’ to someone from his past. Do me a favor and do this. Spread this love, this peace, this powerful energy–cast your web further and dig into your past (deep into it or to yesterday) and say thank you. The power of gratitude is incredible.


Fit Enough

            I remember before Granite-Man this year a girl my age was doubting herself. She was nervous, asked if she could just do the swim and skip the bike and run. I somehow convinced her that she was strong enough to finish the whole thing, I pumped her up and got her excited for starting and finishing the race—and she did. She thanked me at the finish and was stoked she had done it! I was stoked she had finished it! Seeing other people succeed, helping them realize this is incredible and powerful.

            The power of other people lifting each other up is well, powerful. I competed in my first off-road triathlon on Sunday in Yellow Creek State Park near Indiana, PA. I was really excited to swim and run—not so excited for the 14-miles of terrifying mountain biking I that hadn’t trained for. I did the course Saturday afternoon and pretty much, after my third fall, I convinced myself I wasn’t fit to do it. I was afraid of hurting myself, ruining other peoples races and was just scared in general. My amazing community, over pre-race beers and burgers, convinced me I was fit enough. That I could take it at my own pace, that I was racing my own race and that I could do it. I could do it.


I did it.


It hurt. I was sore, and tired, and not smiling the whole time. But laughing before and after made up for the pain and nervousness. My tired body this week is testament to what my body can do for me. Resting is like a big thank you to my tired muscles. This post is a giant hug for all those who supported me.




Travel to the race site today is going to be stressful. I cannot believe the weekend is here! I’m stoked, terrified, STERRIFIED. Just like last times.


A HUGE thanks to all the people who listened to me whine and complain during this training. Buddha knows it didn’t go as planned (does it ever?)


Thanks to Hal and all the boys I miss at Rogue Valley Runners, Got the visor and plan on rocking it like a boss in gnarville tomorrow!!


Send me some energy if you’ve got some extra. I start 5am Saturday February 2nd, THAI TIME!


RVR style

RVR style